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Recurring addiction

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Loved One' started by Smarty, Apr 5, 2015.

  1. Smarty

    Smarty Active Contributor

    I am currently having a project on recurring addictions. Someone gets addicted to something (alcohol, drugs,...) but over time and with a lot of effort he/she manages to overcome it. However, they say that it doesn't work that way... that sometimes it's imprinted on a deeper level, so when something radical happens, the addiction could be unlocked again. I'd like to open a discussion about the following problem. Do you think the same methods the person used to deal with his addiction the first time are likely to work again in the case of a recurring addiction? Or have they "lost their potency", in a manner of speaking? I'm waiting to see your suggestions.
    singingintherain likes this.
  2. pineywood

    pineywood Community Champion

    I am sure there are all kinds of studies and research on this topic; nevertheless, by asking this question in a forum to people with first-hand knowledge will provide you with answers that your might not find in the textbook results.

    I would like to chime in with one point, that I feel strongly about and that is once an addict, always an addict.

    I am not an addict. I can have partake in one social drink and call it a night, although I choose to not drink at all. Others can not and should not have that one drink. It starts the cycle all over again. They fool themselves with rationalizing they are going to just have this one drink tonight.

    So, if they fall into a situation and try to use the same methods again, the question becomes was their method to stop their addiction the first time actually successful? I do not think so, if they find themselves in the same situation again, I think they have fallen into the trap of falsely rationalizing that I stopped before, I can do it again.

    Of course, I am not saying never stop trying, but at the same time, do not think just because you stopped before you will be able to do it again.
  3. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    Relapse happens more often than most people over here or any other similar place would like to admit. It's sad, but it does happen :( Of course, not everyone goes trough that, some people get clean and sober and stay that way, others change one addiction for a less harmful one (my case) and others just go back to their old ways. You can't save them all.
  4. singingintherain

    singingintherain Community Champion

    Really I would say that any addiction is like that. Although we do talk about recovery the truth is that once you are an addict, you have the danger of relapsing at any moment for the rest of your life. You need to maintain constant vigilance to be sure that you do not succumb to addiction again.

    It can often take many attempts for people to quit properly. Sometimes the methods used were not ideal for that person, but other times I believe it is just the timing that is not perfect. I think it's important to continue trying to quit - even if you are using the same method each time. It is the continuing to try that is the important thing.
  5. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Whether the method someone used to fight an addiction works a second time or not depends entirely on what made this person slip.

    Take the example of someone who used to drink to cope with stress. They manage to fix the problem but a year later this person loses his job. He could start using drugs again to cope with this unpleasant change. Should he want to fight his addiction again, he'd be better off using the method which worked rather than try something else and fail.

    IMHO, even when something else triggers a relapse, the same method could be used but there'd one slight alteration, to beat the addiction the addict will have to deal with or avoid the trigger(s).
  6. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    I think the same methods can work again. My son went to rehab four different times. Each time, the tools they taught him made a little more sense to him. They didn't help him get clean initially, but he relapsed each time. But over time, I believe the "potency" of the tools he learned in rehab actually increased. Sobriety is a learned behavior. Like any other learned behavior--reading, learning a foreign language, driving a car, or what have you--it takes practice to master it. Repetition can be very valuable. Just my $0.02.
    Rainman likes this.