Have you ever wondered why people who face addiction often struggle with relapse? It can be frustrating for family, friends and the affected individual alike, especially when, up until their relapse, they have had great success building back the life that was previously torn to pieces by their addiction.
Relapse can happen to anyone dealing with addiction. Lamar Odom being one of them.
Last year, former NBA player Lamar Odom was hospitalized as a result of a drug overdose. Last month, he was escorted off an airline flight due to intoxication. He has been dealing with allegations of a drug problem since 2013, though we may never know for sure how long he has truly been struggling. His battle with addiction has resulted in divorce and physical damage to his internal organs, including his heart.
While it may have seemed for awhile that he was beginning to get things under control, he stumbled once again, as many people struggling to overcome years of addiction often do.
The only upside to relapses when dealing with addiction, no matter how devastating they may be, is that relapse often motivates those who have begun to fall into old habits to turn back to rehabilitation with a new motivation to heal, as seems to be the case with Odom.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, anywhere from 40 to 60 percent of patients recovering from drug addiction relapse. Experts advise that treatment in these cases needs to be reinstated and/or adjusted to compensate, which might explain why Odom’s previous attempts at recovery haven’t seemed to have helped him stay sober for long … yet.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, anywhere from 40 to 60 percent of patients recovering from drug addiction relapse.Click to tweet
Odom appears to be taking a different approach to addiction rehabilitation, focusing on adequate sleep, diet and exercise in hopes of undoing some of the physical damage caused by long-term drug and alcohol abuse. While his kidneys, liver and heart have suffered greatly due to his addiction, Odom is working to strengthen his heart and embrace sobriety.
What makes relapse so probable in around half of the patients who try to recover? Most likely the same social, psychological, physiological and environmental triggers that led to an individual’s battle with addiction in the first place. Relapse can occur as a result of emotions, such as fear or frustration.
It can occur as a result of being around people or places that cause an individual to crave what they have been working to avoid. Addiction relapse can especially result from feelings of both mental and physical stress, which is often the reason people turn to substances and other harmful habits in the first place.
While it’s impossible to assume what exactly could have led to Odom’s past relapses, it’s safe to say, at least for now, he is doing what he can to take charge of his health and take better care of his body and mind. This is a good sign. When someone struggling with addiction makes the conscious decision to turn their life around, if nothing else, it’s a step in the right direction. We wish Odom the best as he continues the recovery process.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction, the first step to recovery can start right here, right now. Take our free Test My Addiction Assessment to identify the symptoms and kinds of treatment that might be best suited for your needs or the needs of a loved one.