Relapse – it’s the number one feature of nearly any addiction that tends to remain the same across the board. It’s also one of the most painful aspects of any addiction treatment program and it plagues most every recovering addict at least once and typically many times throughout their lives. Relapse happens to the vast majority of addicts who find themselves picking up the pieces of recovery and starting over time and time again.
The reality is that most people who struggle with addiction will relapse many times and will return to using drugs or alcohol despite their attempts to get sober. Addiction is a disease and it is plagued by chronic relapse which can be both frustrating and painful for patients and their loved ones.
What causes relapse?
Various factors can result in relapse but the most common reasons for relapse to occur include:
Drug cravings or some type of drug reminder such as seeing the drugs, smelling the drugs, thinking about the drugs or the things that one used to do while using drugs or dreaming of the drugs
Being in a bad mood, getting stressed out or feeling down can lead to relapse in an effort to “feel” better
Being happy, elated or celebrating can lead to relapse to “have fun”
Using a very small amount of a drug or alcohol after one has already completed detox can lead to relapse because “one is never enough”
Everybody is motivated differently but the motivations for an addict or a recovering addict to use drugs are often similar. Once the motivation to use drugs or alcohol after treatment has been triggered, the craving to fulfill the desire can become so overwhelming that the user will give in—thus relapse occurs.
How Can Relapse be avoided?
Although relapse is one of the most difficult and painful parts of overcoming addiction in many cases, it can be avoided. Rehab centers provide various types of counseling, therapy and aftercare programs to aid the recovering addict in preventing relapse and learning how to avoid situations in which relapse would be likely to occur. While you can’t avoid all stressful situations and you of course wouldn’t want to avoid being happy, there are some actions you can take to avoid relapse which include:
Learning how to cope with stress in a manageable and effective manner such as by exercising, or talking with a friend, family member or counselor
Refraining from situations that would cause you to be around the drugs or alcohol—an alcoholic should not hang out at a bar, a drug addict should not hang around the people whom they previously used drugs with
Maintaining the aftercare program and following the recommendations of doctors and counselors
If you or someone you love has undergone treatment for drug or alcohol addiction and has relapsed, consider contacting a treatment center immediately for help. The faster a recovering addict gets back on the bandwagon to recovery following relapse the easier it will be for them to continue moving forward with their treatment. For more information or for help coping with addiction, relapse and recovery call 800-481-6320Who Answers? to speak with a RehabCenters.com specialist today.
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