However, bearing in mind that drug and alcohol abuse is an extremely serious problem which in some instances can lead to an early death, the more help you can get during recovery the better.
Around 50% of all those who have been through a drug or alcohol recovery program, whether as an inpatient or outpatient, will relapse during the first six months. This may seem like a shocking figure and may even – at first sight – seem to make one wonder whether it is all worthwhile.
However, the good news is that the other 50% do not relapse, mostly because they have had the opportunity and support of an effective after care program to follow up treatment with.
Of the 50% that do, the relapse is often only minor and can be arrested if all the available help is taken advantage of by the recovering addict.
Drug and alcohol addiction recovery is not simply a quick fix of a physical addiction that can be halted in a matter of days by detox. The major problem is the mental addiction, and ongoing counseling is often the answer to this problem.
What caused the addiction in the first place? Most often there are underlying problems in a person’s life that may never rise to the surface and of which the individual is, therefore, unaware. A simple analogy might be a car engine which keeps overheating; until you know that the fan belt has broken, you won’t understand the root cause of the problem and you won’t be able to fix it.
So it is with drug and alcohol abuse.
Until you know what has caused it, you can’t fix it. What a counselor does is to sit with you and talk. He (or she) will ask you questions and endeavor to discover the root cause of your problems.
This can take quite a considerable time, since the problems may have – and indeed often will have – started way back in your childhood.
It may be that your parents were permanently arguing.
At the age of three or four you would not understand what was going on, but the reactions would have been installed in your unconscious memory.
Later in life you may be in a similar situation and your unconscious memory tells you that the answer to the pain it causes is to drink or take drugs.
Those are just a couple of examples.
The root causes of addiction can be one of a million things.
The job of a counselor is to pick away at all the surface clutter that has been laid on top over the years until you and he, together, uncover the root cause of the problem. Only then can you begin to see it for what it actually is.
When you do, you may well be amazed at what has caused your addiction, and then, at last, be able to come to terms with it.
When that happens, you will finally become free.
Certainly you may be at risk of a relapse, but when you understand WHY you took drugs or abused alcohol, you will have a far greater chance of remaining sober.
When you have just left rehab and are in aftercare it simply makes sense to take advantage of every possible means of ensuring that you never go back to that dark place again.
Individual counseling is one of the chief ways of achieving that happy state of affairs and making certain that you never, ever, relapse and can live a healthy and happy life from now on.
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