Reality: Try not to be too discouraged by a relapse, which is a re occurrence of symptoms of the disease. Addiction is a chronic illness very similar to type II diabetes or hypertension, meaning it requires lifelong management. Relapse is no more likely with addiction than it is for these other chronic illnesses.
Getting well involves changing deeply embedded behaviors, which takes time and effort, and sometimes there are setbacks. This doesn't mean that previous treatments failed, because the person with the disease still made progress overall in getting well.
A re-occurrence of symptoms may be a sign that the treatment approach or other supports need to re-evaluated or strengthened, or that other treatment methods are needed.
There is hope. Keep in mind that most people with substance use who suffer a re occurrence of symptoms will return to recovery.
Reality: For people who are vulnerable to addiction, use of drugs or alcohol can lead to profound changes in the brain. These changes hijack the natural “reward pathway” of the brain.