The Unique Challenges Associated with “Chronic Relapse”
Chronic relapse can be a difficult and seemingly endless cycle of attempts at sobriety and relapses into substance abuse — but this cycle can be broken. In fact, understanding and leveraging the lessons learned through struggles with chronic relapse can help clients throughout recovery!
Our goal here is to explain not only what chronic relapse is, but how it sets chronic relapse clients apart from rehab first timers, and how those differences can benefit their recovery journey.
Relapse Does NOT Mean Failure
Addiction, or a substance use disorder (SUD), is considered a mental illness by the medical and rehab community, but it also shares a lot in common with chronic physical diseases. That’s because addiction has just as strong a grip on the body as it does on the mind.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found that the relapse rate for addiction is 40-60% — a similar rate to other chronic diseases, including hypertension, diabetes, and asthma. 
Relapse is NOT failure! About half, if not most, of people who suffer from a SUD will relapse at some point in their lives. Relapse is not the end of the recovery journey: it’s a stumbling block.
What Does “Chronic Relapse” Mean?
Chronic relapse describes when someone has relapsed multiple times over a long timeline. This usually involves trying a few different rehab programs that didn’t lead to successful sobriety.
There are many reasons someone can have chronic relapse issues, but it usually comes down to this: When the underlying causes of a client’s addiction aren’t addressed, they are bound to relapse.
Clients can relapse after all kinds of stimuli — sudden life changes, a single trigger spiraling out of control, and more. That makes it our job to help the client understand their weaknesses, and then help them cope with those issues in sustainable ways that work for their unique case.
How Are Chronic Relapse Clients’ Needs Unique?
It’s easy to see the identifying factors of a chronic relapse client as negatives:
- This client is more susceptible to relapsing.
- This client hasn’t had success through other rehab programs.
- This client, generally speaking, will be frustrated and low on hope.
But at Extra Mile Recovery, we see these as positives and opportunities:
- We know this client will benefit from extra attention and oversight.
- We know what doesn’t work for this client and can try other approaches.
- We know that this client is open and ready for something new.
Overall, these clients have more information about their own addiction than other clients and know how to operate in rehab programming. Chronic relapse clients may have more complications, but they also have information and tools that other clients don’t have — it’s all about finding the approach that will best help them leverage those resources.
Chronic Relapse Program for Men in Mississippi
What we’ve learned here at Extra Mile Recovery is that understanding the client, and individualizing our care to their case and needs, makes an incredible difference for how prepared they are for life in recovery. Our Chronic Relapse Program helps clients analyze past recovery work: To figure out how we can best support them and give them a new perspective on their own addiction and recovery.
Chronic relapse clients have been through a great deal, but we make sure those struggles haven’t been a waste of time. We leverage the lessons learned through chronic relapse to empower clients and help them find healthier alternatives to substance abuse that they can rely on for years to come.
To learn more about our Chronic Relapse Program and other recovery services, please call Extra Mile Recovery at (662) 351-3343 today.