Maybe a recent brush with the law has forced you to take a look at your drug habit. You want to change, and maybe you have even received treatment. Despite that, you may feel like a relapse is inevitable. Why is that?

U.S. News & World Report explored the issue. Understand common obstacles to lasting recovery, before you find yourself accused of another drug crime.

Brain chemistry 

One reason that you may often relapse despite your best efforts is that your brain is naturally wired to derive pleasure from the substances you use. The release of dopamine due to drug use can reshuffle your brain chemistry so that you prioritize drugs more than eating or a similar act of survival. Depending on how long you have used drugs, your brain’s prefrontal cortex may have sustained damaged, which can make it difficult for you to identify problems and develop solutions.

Disease

Another reason for your constant relapses is that addiction is a disease that has no cure. Even with treatment, medication and a support group, staying clean and sober is still a daily struggle. Using medications such as Vivitrol, naltrexone and methadone can help adjust your brain chemistry so that your cravings are not as intense. That said, you still must make healthy changes to your lifestyle, which may mean staying away from specific people and places that could trigger a potential relapse.

Being better informed about why you relapse can help you build a current legal case to fight a drug charge. Help yourself to receive the treatment you need rather than a legal sentence that may do more harm than good.