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Three problems that lead to drug addiction relapse and how they're treated - Fox Baltimore

by Jacob Helker

Monday, August 23rd 2021

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It is believed that it is harder to break addictions to some drugs than others (WBFF)p{/p}

It is believed that it is harder to break addictions to some drugs than others (WBFF)p{/p}

AMARILLO, Texas (KVII) — For weeks now, we have looked at myriad effects of addiction – from the body to the mind to the people those suffering care about the most.

Three problems that lead to drug addiction relapse and how they're treated{p}{/p}

An estimated 30% to 50% of those who suffer from this all-too-common disease will, at some point, start the road to recovery.

The common perception is that some drugs are easier to quit than others – the American Addiction Centers list opiates, cocaine, amphetamines, and alcohol as some of the most difficult – but drug counselor Kyle Deaver says all substances pose their own unique challenge when it comes to treatment.

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“The chemicals that are physically dependent can be challenging but also drugs like stimulants and other drugs, become somebody's primary coping mechanism and where some drugs affect the, you become physically dependent upon that drug and the body wants to keep that going. I think, depending on the person, every drug’s a little - drugs are hard to get off of,” said Deaver.

Recovery is complex – involving not just the body, but the mind and relationships with others as well. For some, the recovery process works the first time and they begin a life free of the shackles of drug addiction. But Deaver says relapse is common – and has some equally common triggers.

“Mismanagement of stress, maladaptive coping mechanisms and getting off the pattern. A big portion about staying sober is developing healthy routines. It's developing a new way of living and not just patching over the stuff that might have been rough before somebody entered into treatment," said Deaver.

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So, what do drug treatment specialists do when they have a patient dealing with a relapse? Deaver says those in his profession work through the process of elimination.

“We worked on that, we worked on that, what’s something we didn’t touch the last time?" said Deaver.

Therapies at Northwest Texas Hospital Behavioral Health include ways to improve social relationships and resolve past trauma for patients who may use drugs to cope. For those who relapse, Deaver says a second stint in treatment may be exactly what they need to finally make the change.

“It’s good to go back to square one. You might have heard something one way, but then he might hear the same information from another counselor in a different style and it *snap* clicks," said Deaver.

A common refrain among drug treatment specialists is that relapse does not mean treatment has failed. Although a slip back into old habits can be discouraging, Deaver says coming back is always the better alternative.

“As long as you're showing up, sometimes that's somebody's only action. ‘I don't know what to do other than to come back.’ Be like, ‘Well that's a lot better place than on the street,'" said Deaver. “And eventually, throughout time, as long as they’re willing to keep trying, this profession will keep on trying.”

A glimmer of hope in the often dismal world of Addicted America.