Are You a Chronic Relapser? No, You’re Not!

by | Jul 25, 2023

Are you a chronic relapser? Did a treatment professional or fellow AA member saddle you with this label? Do you feel hopeless every time someone refers to you in this way? Have you taken on this identity, even though it disgusts you? 

Every single day in rehabs, clinics, and 12 step meetings around the world, a person is described in this demeaning way. Maybe it’s you. Well, it’s time to change that!

Make no mistake, labeling you this way is meant to break your spirit; it exists for no other reason. It’s designed specifically to stop your critical thinking, make you mistrust your own mind, so that you will become completely “compliant with treatment goals.” Have you ever noticed that you and your goals are absent from that statement and equation? You aren’t even mentioned in the label itself. YOU, as an individual, don’t exist in the treatment and recovery society. Your personal wants, needs, and goals are irrelevant. The only thing that matters is your full compliance to their method. That’s scary stuff folks! And worse yet – in addiction treatment you only matter if you’re willing to pay. Otherwise you’re not even a blip on their lead-sheet radar. “Got your insurance card ready?” they ask endlessly. 

Here’s the deal – there is no such thing or person as a chronic relapser. It doesn’t actually exist. It’s a made-up term to engender fear and deep self-hatred. This focus on your self-hate is used to distract you from the treatment industry’s failings, questionable methods, and horrible results. It’s a powerfully manipulative and harmful ruse. 

In contrast – what is real? Well, there are people who struggle with heavy substance use. These people are not diseased, powerless, or broken in any way. They simply have built a strong preference for intoxication for very personal reasons. We see that when these people identify their personal reasons for their strong preference and challenge and reevaluate those reasons, they can and do change (that’s what we teach in The Freedom Model among many other empowering lessons). Doesn’t that sound a whole lot better than taking on a powerless identity where you must mindlessly follow a “treatment plan” for a nonexistent disease or disorder?

Rather than look at themselves in the mirror and ask the tough questions of why their failure rates are so high, the treatment industry doubles down on breaking you instead. They gaslight you and tell you it’s your fault that you keep failing; you’re the broken one; you just don’t “accept your disease”; you’re not “treatment compliant”; you’re worse than a “regular alcoholic” (whatever that is!) – you are a “chronic relapser”.

It’s time for you to jump off the broken train and stop being pushed around by the tyranny of “experts”. It’s time for you to realize that you are not a label, but rather, you’re a human being who is capable of determining the level of utility in your substance use habit. In the end, that is the determining factor in changing these kinds of habits. But to do so you’ll need to let go of all labels, whether that be the alcoholic moniker, the addict identity, or the demeaning chronic relapser tag. You are you; a person making decisions based on the knowledge and experiences you own and have earned at this point in your life. You can learn something new – a completely different set of ideas, research, and perspectives on drug or alcohol use and its futility or utility in your life. That can start now!

To fully let go of these labels will require new information and facts. You can get them all here: or call 888-424-2626.

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