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Why Do Some People Go To Rehab More Than Once?

Published On: 30 July 2021

The very first time you go to rehab, you may be shocked to find so many people there who have already been to rehab before. Meeting these so-called “repeat offenders” or “chronic relapsers” can be disheartening. You may begin to believe that you’ll never be able to overcome your addiction. However, it’s important to remember that addiction is a disease–it cannot be cured. 

Relapse is a part of many people’s journey, and although it can be painful, relapse does not equal failure. It simply means part of your treatment regimen needs to be changed or adjusted to better support your needs. Many people go to rehab more than once because they are in search of long-term sobriety and are not going to give up because of a relapse.

go to rehab more than once

How Many People Go To Rehab Multiple Times?

Addiction is a progressive and chronic disease that only gets worse without proper treatment. Unfortunately, it is not curable with any single medication or treatment. Instead, recovery requires ongoing care and action on your part. 

The relapse rate among people who seek treatment for substance abuse is similar to that of asthma, hypertension, and other chronic illnesses. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports between 40-60% of people in recovery relapse at some point in their lives.[1] While not everyone goes back to rehab after a relapse, many do so they can figure out what went wrong and how to prevent another relapse in the future.

Bouncing back after relapse can be difficult. If you’ve ever broken the chains of addiction before, you know just how challenging it is to stop using substances and ask for help. Many people who relapse find they are unable to get back on their feet without professional help. Addiction treatment centers in West Palm Beach can help patients who have relapsed identify the cause of their relapse and implement relapse prevention strategies. In other words, it isn’t uncommon for some people to go to rehab more than once.

Is Going To Rehab More Than Once Effective?

How effective rehab is for your recovery can vary depending on several individual factors. For example, if you don’t pay attention or participate in therapy sessions, you may not soak up all of the tools and information needed to stay sober. On the other hand, the more motivated and willing you are to work on your personal recovery, the better results you will see. 

With that being said, NIDA has outlined several principles of effective substance abuse treatment. These include:[2]

  • Providing immediate access to treatment for those who need it
  • Offering individually-tailored treatment programs that address patients’ individual needs
  • Treatment lasting at least 90 days or arrangements made for long-term care
  • Incorporating both behavioral therapy and medications into the treatment process

Treatment plans that are thorough, individually crafted, and long enough can provide you with the tools you need to avoid another trip back to rehab. However, if you relapsed after your first time in rehab, it may be necessary to go back to rehab to learn exactly what went wrong. By going to rehab more than once, you can get expert insight into the causes of your relapse and what needs to be changed to promote permanent sobriety.

What to Expect If You Go Back To Rehab After A Relapse

The first part of treatment after a relapse will be the same as usual. You’ll detox in a medical setting and have a comprehensive assessment to determine your treatment needs. 

Once you’ve moved onto the therapeutic portion of treatment, much of the focus will be on what caused your relapse, what you should have done differently, and what you can do in the future to prevent relapse. Your therapist will work closely with you to help you examine the events that lead up to your relapse. He or she will have you discuss your thoughts and feelings prior to that first drink or drug. 

You will learn about the different relapse prevention tools you can use to combat destructive thoughts or hurtful feelings. You will look into potential situations in which these different tools can be implemented to help you cope with triggers and avoid relapse.

If you go to rehab more than once, you can expect that none of your experiences will be exactly the same. Each time, you will learn more about yourself and more coping mechanisms that will support your recovery journey.

How To Stay Sober For Good (And Avoid Multiple Stints in Rehab)

Even though relapse is fairly common among recovering addicts, there are steps you can take to prevent relapse and avoid having to go back to rehab more than once. Some ways to get the most out of treatment include:

  • Be completely honest during rehab – Honesty doesn’t always come easy for addicts and alcoholics, but it is absolutely vital for the recovery process. Be honest with your peers, your therapist(s), and your sober support about how you feel and where you stand with your sobriety.
  • Don’t hold anything back – Are you keeping a secret about your relapse? What about regarding your past? Do you have mental health symptoms that you’ve never spoken about before? It’s important to address everything you need help with if you really want to heal.
  • Actively participate in your therapy sessions – Therapy isn’t a walk in the park. It takes real emotional effort and vulnerability. Although it can be tiring, the more effort you put into your therapy sessions, the more you will take out of them.
  • Start building a sober support network – It’s never too early to begin collecting the names and contact information of people who have more experience in sobriety than you do. Start building a sober support network before you leave rehab so you have a support group to fall back on when the going gets rough.
  • Take your therapist’s suggestions – Your therapist is licensed, trained, and experienced. He or she knows best and has your best interest at heart. Be sure to take your therapist’s suggestions and stay open-minded to trying the things that are suggested of you–even when it is outside of your comfort zone.

Start Your Recovery Journey Today

Recovery is not always a linear process. It is full of highs and lows–just like life. However, no matter how bad things get, you can avoid relapse by having the proper coping skills at your disposal. Whether you only have to go to rehab once or you have relapsed and are looking to begin treatment again, our team at Daylight Recovery Center is here to help. 

Our team is not here to judge you. We’re here to show you the ropes and help you get better. Don’t waste another minute struggling with addiction. Call us now to get started on your recovery.


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