Addiction to alcohol and drugs is considered to be a relapsing chronic disorder. This means that alcohol and drug relapse prevention is a critical element of an effective treatment plan for drugs and alcohol abuse. Many studies have shown that up to 54% of drugs and alcohol abuse patients can relapse any time after treatment. In addition, up to 61% of those vulnerable to relapse will have several relapsing periods. It is therefore not unusual for an addict to relapse one month after treatment. Similarly, it is not unusual for an addict to relapse one year after treatment. It is also said that up to 47% of patients relapse within 12 months after treatment.
Although an individual’s relapse is usually a symptom of the earlier addiction, alcohol relapse is preventable. The most fundamental factor in preventing alcohol or drug relapse is to improve an individual’s social adjustment. Criminal offenders who have a history of drug or alcohol addiction and relapse can find it challenging to treat their relapse problem because their social adjustment is poor. This factor also makes most of these individuals engage in criminal behavior. As far as relapse prevention is generally concerned, there must be effective methodologies for relapse prevention because these are critical to the general success of drug and alcohol abuse treatment.
Part of preventing chronic relapse is identifying early signs of a possible relapse. Basically, relapse does not happen in a vacuum. Many factors contribute to relapse, as well as warning signs and identifiable evidence, which usually indicates that an individual may be in immediate danger of going back to alcohol or drug abuse. Drug or alcohol relapse can be interpreted as not just the actual reoccurrence to drug and alcohol abuse patterns, but also as a process whereby indicators start appearing before an individual’s resumption of drug and alcohol abuse. Therefore, preventing these signs early is critical to the patient’s well-being.