Mens Drug Rehab

Chronic Relapse

grunge border Jaywalker


People enter treatment for drug or alcohol addiction with a desire for recovery and a hope for the future. People leave treatment sober and with the tools to remain substance-free, however, 40 to 60 percent of people relapse within the first 90 days after graduation. Relapse is common in recovery; however, people who repeatedly relapse may need specialized treatment for chronic relapse.

Dual Diagnosis

Mental Health

Substance Abuse


A general definition of relapse is the deterioration of a person’s health after a period of improvement. In addiction terms, a relapse happens when a person uses drugs or alcohol while in recovery. Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease, so it’s common for someone to relapse. But, chronic relapse is a repeated pattern of treatment, recovery, and relapse.


Jaywalker offers treatment for men dealing with an addiction to alcohol, opioids, stimulants, and prescription drugs. Specifically, we specialize in treating men struggling with chronic relapse. Chronic relapses often feel defeated and believe they will never find lifelong recovery. However, our treatment for chronic relapse gives people hope and confidence that they can achieve lasting recovery.

Treatment for chronic relapse is intense and typically lasts longer than normal addiction treatment. Treatment for chronic relapse depends on the person’s needs and starts with inpatient treatment in The Landing program. Here they receive additional support and services to help acclimate, stabilize, and orient people to the recovery process.

After completing The Landing program, chronic relapsers enter The Lodge program. This program is our core treatment program for relapse treatment. What sets our treatment for chronic relapse apart from others is we believe in engaging in fun and challenging physical activities. Looking at the world and your life differently encourages personal growth and lasting recovery.


Although people think relapse just happens, it actually occurs in three stages. Because it is an event and a process, specific regressions happen before a person relapses. It may be as “seemingly” innocent as talking to an old friend who you partied with. However, this can quickly lead to reverting to old habits.

Stage 1: Emotional Relapse

The first stage of chronic relapse is the emotional relapse stage. During this stage, people’s behaviors make them more susceptible to relapse. Since most people in the emotional relapse stage are unaware they are in it, their loved ones need to know the signs of emotional relapse.

Signs of emotional relapse include:

  • Isolation
  • Bottling up emotions
  • Not attending support group meetings or therapy
  • Poor sleeping and eating habits
  • Poor self-care

Stage two of chronic relapse is mental relapse. It occurs when people actively think about and desire to use drugs or alcohol again.

Signs of someone experiencing a mental relapse include:

  • Cravings
  • Lying
  • Glamorizing past substance use
  • Minimizing the consequences of past substance abuse
  • Bargaining
  • Planning to relapse
  • Looking for opportunities to relapse
  • Fondly thinking about people or places you used to abuse substances at

Stage three of chronic relapse is physically relapsing. People officially relapse and use drugs or alcohol again. Typically people hide the fact that they relapse due to embarrassment. However, it is hard to hide since people who relapse tend to go on a binge.

During the process of relapsing, there are plenty of opportunities for a person to reach out for help and to use the coping skills learned in treatment. But it’s important to remember that relapse is not a failure.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states relapse rates in addiction are similar to those of asthma, hypertension, and diabetes. With chronic relapse, treatment needs to take a different approach. For example, it’s necessary to understand why someone keeps returning to drugs or alcohol after multiple times at treatment and recovery.


There are many reasons why a person experiences a chronic relapse. A common reason is people stop seeing the importance of continuing treatment. As a result, they ease their recovery efforts.

The National Library of Medicine states up to 70 percent of people will relapse in the first year of recovery. But that doesn’t mean they are entirely recovered if a person doesn’t relapse in the first year. Recovery is a lifelong process, and believing otherwise increases the risk of chronic relapse.

Beyond this, there are specific daily, psychological, and behavioral factors that increase the risk of chronic relapse. These risk factors include:

  • Staying in contact with people who use or sell drugs and alcohol
  • Being around drugs, alcohol, or paraphernalia
  • Being in an environment where you once abused substances
  • Isolating or withdrawing from friends and family
  • Untreated mental health issues
  • Inadequate support emotionally and socially
  • Believing a person has no control over their substance abuse

Having a strong support system is crucial to lasting recovery. They must know the signs and symptoms of chronic relapse so they can try to prevent the relapse and get their loved one some help.


Once a person develops a habit of chronically relapsing from either drugs or alcohol, they typically exhibit specific symptoms. Common symptoms of the chronic relapsing disease include:

  • Emotional issues
  • Hopelessness
  • Dishonesty
  • Low energy
  • Poor eating and sleeping habits
  • Cravings
  • Using drugs or alcohol
  • Romanticizing substance use
  • Isolating more
  • Doubting the effectiveness of recovery
  • Not attending support group meetings
  • Refusing to face the underlying issues behind substance abuse
  • Not participating in hobbies anymore
  • Believing you can use without triggering substance use disorder
  • Having an excessive amount of addiction knowledge but not ab;e to apply the knowledge


When a person has been sober for a period of time and then relapses, it can shock the body. Chronic relapse can be physically dangerous because a person’s tolerance is much lower. Therefore, it takes smaller doses to achieve the same effect it once did, which can lead to overdose and even death.


At Jaywalker, we believe the key to building a healthy foundation for recovery is through a continuum-of-care treatment plan. While the typical stay in addiction treatment is 30 days, that is often not enough time to build a foundation for recovery and especially not for chronic relapse treatment.

A continuum-of-care treatment plan begins when a client enters treatment and carries through to aftercare and beyond. Clients generally “step down” to less intensive treatment as they progress through recovery.

However, it is possible to “step up” to more intense treatment if clients start to slide in their recovery. In our continuum-of-care model, a client’s treatment team personalizes and adjusts care along the way. Treatment of chronic relapse is more successful with this type of treatment program.

At Jaywalker, our continuum of care programs include:


Have you completed an addiction treatment program only to relapse and use drugs or alcohol again? Treatment for chronic relapse doesn’t stop when you complete a program. At Jaywalker, our continuum-of-care programs can help you prevent relapse and achieve lifelong recovery. Contact us today to find out more.


Experience the world-class men's treatment center in Carbondale, CO

"*" indicates required fields

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.