Revolving Door Syndrome: Are you Addicted to Rehab?

Revolving Door Syndrome: Are you Addicted to Rehab?

In For Addicts, Long-Term Recovery by Rebecca Flad

Making that first step toward recovery is always a tough feat. Once you’re in rehab for a short while, odds are you’ll realize that many people surrounding you in the facility has gone through rehab a number of times. The hard truth is that you, too, may fall into the hole that is the revolving door syndrome.

Revolving Door Syndrome

Those who have been through rehab multiple times often have the same story. The have all gone through treatment, stayed in rehabilitation facilities, gotten clean and end up staying sober for some time. Then they relapse and come full circle, ending up back in treatment to start from the beginning. This is known as the revolving door syndrome. So why does this happens to addicts and even recovered addicts?

Fear of Recovery

If you’ve been an addict for the span of years, it’s common to have feelings of fear towards your full recovery. Any addict wishing to recover risks flopping on their initial idea. This is because relapse and addiction is easy, recovery and sobriety isn’t. Recovering in rehab is hard, especially if you’ve been suffering from addiction for years. The greatest feat of all is being able to commit to recovery, get sober and stay sober. Getting past your fear of sobriety will knock you out of the revolving door syndrome.

Avoiding the Transition

A common reason why some fall into the revolving door syndrome and relapse is because they aren’t prepared for the transition back a normal life. This is true especially for inpatients that recovered at a rehabilitation facility. The idea of returning home could trigger feelings of relapse. Returning home may be associated with using and could lead to a relapse, knocking you back into the cycle. To avoid this, try visiting home during your recovery to put yourself in that environment while sober.

Expectation vs. Reality

Believe it or not, many addicts go into recovery believing their lives would be changed drastically. Some even believe their recovery will be quick and painless. However, these expectations aren’t necessarily realistic, especially so for long-term addicts. If you find yourself stuck in a rehab cycle, you should assess your expectations and make them realistic. Recovery isn’t going to change the world around you, it will only change you.

Quitting Drugs and Alcohol

Believe it or not, but quitting drugs and alcohol isn’t going to solve your addiction issues. Many go into rehab thinking their lives will change for the better if they quit their substance abuse. Deciding to drop your addiction with the intention of bettering your life isn’t realistic unless you have the tools to life a happy life post-recovery. If you’re only willing to quit substance use and not commit to your new way of life, you’ll find yourself stuck again in the revolving door syndrome. It is only when you’ve developed tools for sobriety when you can begin your new life without your addiction.

Are you Addicted to Rehab?


Whether or not you’re a victim of the revolving door syndrome, it’s important to assess the situation and understand what you’re going through. If you’re an addict struggling with recovery or sobriety, you may find yourself in and out of rehab. You should ask yourself a few questions when you find yourself constantly relapsing while in recovery:

  • Why am I using?
  • What’s holding me back from recovery?
  • Why do I end up in rehab over and over?
  • What’s my reason for sobriety?

Finding yourself in and out of recovery over a long amount of time is not a normal instance. Victims of long-term revolving door syndrome should seek counseling and mental evaluation to determine the constant cause of relapse. The question shouldn’t be whether or not you’re addicted to rehab, but rather what is the root for your addiction and addictive behavior?