A: It’s not relapse, it’s failure. Whether it’s failure from the start or the fact that they believe they cannot possibly stay clean for any significant period of time. They fear that recovery won’t work for them. The #1 cause of relapse is the disease of addiction. #2 is complacency or minimizing the disease. A lot of people feel miserable, hopeless and fear that hope will not be restored.
Hopelessness is a part of the process. You need to feel hopeless at the start in order to launch into recovery. It is important here to point out that relapse is not failure and just to be clear relapse is NOT a part of recovery, relapse is a part of the DISEASE. Remember this is a chronic illness. A relapse is only considered a failure if the individual doesn’t get back up and try to get clean/sober again. If the addict chooses to ignore the recommendations of professionals and those who have been there before them, this type of behavior can eventually lead to a relapse and or misery.
So how do we raise the recovery rate and remove the fear? 12-step support, family members engage in recovery, medication if needed, diet, exercise, and professional help, create an accountability system that gives the individual support to not pick up.