What Causes Relapse?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug abuse is a chronic, relapsing disease like hypertension, diabetes, and asthma (NIDA). You are not alone if you or a loved one recently fell back into drug usage. According to studies, more than two-thirds of people relapse within months of starting addiction treatment. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, between 40% and 60% of patients with drug use disorders will relapse. It is essential to understand what causes relapse to avoid potential pitfalls in recovery.

Although relapse is a typical symptom of addiction, it can be distressing and even deadly. Relapses happen, but that doesn’t imply the road to recovery is finished. This setback can be overcome so that rehabilitation can resume.

What Is Drug Relapse?

It might take time to overcome an addiction to alcohol or any drug. Relapses are a common component of recovery from alcohol and other substance use. Relapse rates for chronic illnesses like asthma, hypertension, and addiction are identical (50% to 70%).

The recurrence of a clinical disease that has previously improved is referred to as a relapse. Relapse is the restart of substance use following an attempt to quit or a time of abstinence in addiction therapy. Relapses can occur, like in the case of someone who resumes drug usage after months of treatment.

Relapse is typical throughout the rehabilitation process, but it may also be incredibly harmful and result in overdose with some substances. After prolonged abstinence from drugs, a person often has a lower tolerance to the substance. Their body is less dependent on the medication than it once was, so they require less of it to experience its effects. 

An overdose occurs when a user consumes so much substance that they either die, endure painful side effects, or both. However, there are situations when the user is unaware of this. They could overdose if they consume the same amount of the substance as they did before stopping.

It is essential to deal with a person’s relapse quickly. To comprehend what occurred and the causes, as well as what actions you can take to ensure that it doesn’t happen again, you and your loved one should consult with a doctor or clinical treatment specialist. This could entail starting over in therapy, making changes to treatment, or attempting an alternative treatment strategy.

The best drug rehab in New Jersey is what we provide. Next Wind Recovery offers outpatient treatments, including counseling and medication. This gives people in recovery or going through a relapse a better experience and a very high success rate.

What Causes Relapse?

A variety of factors can cause relapse. Dependent alcohol or drug addiction and personal difficulties are strongly correlated. These can lead to difficulty at work, persistent emotional and psychological problems, and social or economic concerns, including monetary hardship, exclusion from social support networks, and issues in interpersonal relationships.

Relapses are just the continuance of old coping mechanisms that need to be swapped out for new ones; they do not indicate that the individual is “weak” or a “failure.” Because people frequently are not aware that they are relapsing, regardless of the reason, When someone recognizes they are in the breakdown stage, they have already resumed taking their drug of choice.

Several situations might encourage relapse. They include:

  • Conditions or locations where the individual would have previously used alcohol or another drug, for example, are situations that entice the person to resume drug use. 
  • Some situations cause people to take drugs as a coping mechanism, such as unstable housing, failure in their careers or personal lives, peer pressure, or societal shame.
  • Underlying emotional issues may trigger a relapse causing the patient to turn to drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism.
  • Some persons with poor physical health may turn to over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, especially if they have chronic pain.
  • A person attempting to stop using drugs or alcohol could feel conflicted or guilty if they fail. If this issue is not handled correctly, it may result in feelings of shame and self-blame, which increases the likelihood that the individual will continue using drugs or alcohol as a coping technique.

How Can People Avoid Relapsing in Recovery?

Relapse prevention has been more of a priority as research and treatment techniques have developed. Relapse prevention programs teach clients how to recognize high-risk circumstances that might trigger a relapse and react to them healthily.

According to research, the most frequent relapse triggers are direct drug contact, specific stress signals associated with a person’s substance use (such as people, places, things, and emotions), and those connected to stress. By educating clients about coping skills while they are in treatment, relapse prevention attempts to counteract these triggers.

The following tactics have been proven successful in lowering relapse chances for those addicted to alcohol or any drug.

  1. Avoiding specific individuals, locations, and objects: avoiding the people, locations, and circumstances that formerly prompted the person to use alcohol or other drugs may help prevent relapse.
  2. Using clinical and non-clinical assistance as necessary: A robust support system, formalized by a service provider or unofficially by a group of encouraging friends and family, will aid in preventing undesirable behaviors and circumstances.
  3. Engaging in worthwhile tasks: Encourage the individual to develop a good sense of self-image and pride by engaging in activities they like that will benefit the neighborhood, such as joining a local athletic team, choir, or special interest club.
  4. Balanced living and self-care: Substance use may be sparked by a lack of physical and emotional care. Encourage the individual to adopt healthy lifestyle practices, such as obtaining adequate sleep and rest, eating wholesome foods, and maintaining a clean living space.

Finding a Relapse Prevention Program in North Jersey

You could be devastated if a loved one has relapsed. However, it is reasonable to suppose that your loved one is also a little broken. It is possible to support yourself or your loved ones through this.  

With the help of counseling and medication, our New Jersey outpatient rehab center can help people in recovery have a much better experience and a high success rate. Addiction therapy, dual diagnosis treatment, and an outpatient program are all included in our treatment plans. 

Check our website for more information on the services we offer. You can also schedule a free consultation with our experts to get started.

About the Author

Picture of Duane Anderson, CADC Intern

Duane Anderson, CADC Intern

Duane is a Primary Therapist at Next Wind Recovery.

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