Tuesday, July 18, 2023

All You Need To Know About Addiction Therapy Relapse

Addiction is a chronic condition that can be defined as the inability to stop using substances. A person requires proper attention and support to get out of addiction. 

Although addiction therapy helps people maintain sobriety, the fear of relapse remains constant. 

What is Relapse?

Relapse means to start using the substance or falling back into addiction after quitting it for a while.

Relapse can be dangerous for those who have abstained from drug use as their tolerance to the drugs reduces after the long abstinence. Thus, taking drugs in large amounts (or even the same amount as they used to) can often lead to death or overdose.

It gets difficult for a person to quit substance use if they relapse.

That is why, it is crucial to learn how to prevent relapse from happening by understanding the facts that contribute to it.

The Stages of Relapse

Relapse doesn’t occur in one day, it’s a whole process. It can be triggered by emotional, mental and physical factors.

The Emotional Stage

This is the first stage of relapse that occurs when an individual is clueless that he might fall back into addiction.

The individual begins to feel angry, anxious and moody all of the time. The initial warning sign for a person entering the process of relapse includes a change in sleeping patterns and irregular eating.

The Mental Stage

In this second stage of relapse, i.e. mental stage individuals struggle internally between staying on the path to recovery or satisfying their longing for substance use.

Individuals do romanticize about using the substance again in the early stage of recovery but in this stage, they make an actual choice.

The Physical Stage

If one ignores the warning signals of the emotional and mental stages, it doesn’t take them long to reach the last stage -  the physical stage. 

In this stage, the cravings and negative thoughts arise so much in a person that they drive them to use the substance at last.

Warning Signs of Relapse

It is important to recognize the warning signs of relapse to prevent an individual from falling back into the web of drug or alcohol use. Here are some signs of relapse.

1. Romanticizing Using the Substance

Individuals who are in addiction therapy may start thinking that without falling back into addiction, they can control the use of the substance.

However, trying a substance even once can lead a person back to addiction.

2. Withdrawal and Isolation

A sudden change in someone’s behavior can also indicate the chances of a relapse. A person may stop socializing with family or friends fearing they might be judged.

3. Neglecting Self-Care Routines

Another sign of relapse can be not taking care of oneself. Change in their physical appearance like looking malnourished or sleep-deprived can be an indication of them using the substance.

4. Contacting Old Friendship

It is crucial to monitor with whom the individual meets. Revisiting people who use drugs or consume alcohol can negatively affects the individual.

Prevention from Relapse

1. Developing a Relapse Prevention Plan

At Addiction centers your therapist can make a personalized plan to deal with the triggers and manage cravings.

2. Being Part of a Support Group

Being surrounded by people who are also on a path to recovery can encourage an individual to quit without relapse. Support groups provide a safe place to share your triggers and experiences.

Open communication in such groups can help an individual gain clarity and have a positive outlook on life.

3. Identifying and Avoiding Triggers

To reduce the risk of relapse it is important to recognize and avoid triggers by developing a strong coping mechanism or by learning techniques to overcome the urge to use the substance.


Relapse is not very uncommon. Relapse is also not a failure but simply an indication that the person experiencing it, needs more support and attention.

Long-term recovery is possible if the warning signs of relapse are recognized on time and measures are implemented to prevent relapse from occurring.

With ongoing therapies and a strengthened mindset, an individual can lead an addiction-free life.

This is a guest blog entry.

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