Psychological Dependency and Relapse in Addiction Recovery

As human beings, we are more than simply a conglomeration of cells, electrical impulses, and organs. Unfortunately, many drug and alcohol treatment programs emphasize the importance of psychological dependency, overemphasizing the role of genetics or physical addiction. While medical detox is certainly a vital part of recovery, chemical dependency relapse has been strongly correlated with lack of treatment for psychological dependency issues.

The Role of Psychological Dependency in Relapse

Sadly, many of those seeking treatment for chemical dependency simply do not achieve the results they desire. In fact, nearly 80 percent of those who enter alcohol dependency treatment programs will be drinking again within five years. Similarly, nearly 80 percent of those enrolled in drug recovery programs will also relapse within five years of treatment.

Many of these relapsed individuals have successfully undergone medical detox, ensuring that the body is no longer experiencing withdrawal symptoms or cravings. So, why do those who have experienced physical freedom from dependency so frequently return to use? While those who ascribe to a genetics-only model of chemical dependency might point to a predetermined inability to use moderately, it still does not explain the drive to use in the first place when physical symptoms of dependency have been treated.

The truth is that many dependent individuals use drugs or drink for a reason. Perhaps they have experienced trauma that is repressed through the use of alcohol or drugs. Some dependent individuals suffer from negative self-beliefs that have formed early in childhood, which cause them to feel incompetent or unable to achieve success or self-reliance in their lives. For others, the pain of heartbreak and grief has become so overwhelming, drugs and alcohol become their temporary escape route—with some even substituting new addictions in place of old ones they have physically overcome.

Eliminating Relapse by Treating Psychological Dependency

Fortunately, those who receive treatment for underlying causes that drive psychological dependency do tend to stay sober. Scientific research has shown that skills learned in cognitive-behavioral therapy endure after treatment programs have completed. In fact, alcohol and drug treatment programs with a heavy emphasis on talk therapy and hypnotherapy have experienced relapse rates as low as 15 percent. Several studies have also shown that the vast majority of those who have received therapy-rich approaches in recovery have maintained their treatment progress throughout the following year without relapse.

How to Contact Passages:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Center today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by dialing our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.


Psychological Dependency and Relapse in Addiction Recovery
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