My cousin has been addicted to crack cocaine for ten years.  He is a chronic relapser.  He’s been to rehab 3 times in the past year. What do you recommend for chronic relapsers?   Is there any hope?”

Sure there’s hope. Partly because the effects of repeated treatments tend to be cumulative — most patients are learning something important from each, and also from their relapses. I believe it’s not uncommon for some patients to go through treatment 8-10 times before it ‘takes’. But the best and safest way to address chronic relapse is through a long-term residential program — say, a year or more.

Some patients are ready to make that sort of commitment, and others require an intervention. Given his reported history of relapse, outpatient treatment probably isn’t an option. So the question becomes: where can we find residential treatment of sufficient length to benefit him, and second, how can we convince him to go?

Here’s some helpful resources on this site:

Finding the Best Addiction Treatment for Your Needs

Shopping for Treatment

Intervention and Publicly-Funded Rehab

Introduction to Intervention: You Can Do It