Relapse to an Addiction, Behavior, or Substance
For many people, drug and alcohol use began as a way to alleviate boredom or make certain activities feel more fun. Those in recovery often have a hard time finding new ways to have fun, and it may cause them to glamorize or ruminate on their past substance abuse. Recovery is hard work and drug use feels easy, and this can make people feel like their efforts haven’t been worth it. Therapy can help people overcome the cognitive challenge of acknowledging the difficulty of recovery but realizing that sustaining an addiction is far harder.
Remember, emotions and feelings when activated can quickly move individuals to unhealthy behaviors if unregulated. Physical relapse usually occurs due to a lack of coping strategies during the mental relapse phase. As you begin to obsess more about drug or alcohol use, you find yourself in situations where the opportunity to use arises. This blog explores relapse prevention, strategies for avoiding triggers, and coping mechanisms to manage urges of repeat negative habits.
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Pathways involved in how a person feels pleasure and processes rewards, memory, and decision-making can be altered through substance abuse. With repeated use, alterations in brain chemistry and functioning can result in the development of substance dependence. Once a person becomes significantly physically dependent, withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings may be common side effects if drinking or drug use slows or stops suddenly. Someone who has grown dependent on a substance may not feel “normal” without it. Therefore, a return to drug or alcohol use may seem like a good way to get back to feeling OK, curbing withdrawal symptoms, and combating strong cravings.
Triggers can cause people to stop attending sober meetings or participating in other forms of structured relapse prevention. These are often rarely encountered https://ecosoberhouse.com/ or they are only encountered once. For instance, you might find that having lunch in a specific cafe where alcohol is served makes you badly want a drink.
When is it Considered Relapse?
Understanding how these triggers affect you is vital to avoid potential relapse. Getting out of a high-risk situation is sometimes necessary for preserving recovery. It’s possible to predict that some events—parties, other social events—may be problematic. It’s wise to create in advance a plan that can be enacted on the spot—for example, pre-arranging for a friend or family member to pick you up if you text or call.
It is important to learn how to be comfortable with uncomfortable feelings and emotions. Realize negative feelings don’t have to be a sign of an impending setback. If you don’t prepare for these situations ahead of time, you are vulnerable to relapse.
Is Relapse a Sign of Failure?
The goal of addiction treatment is recovery, and part of the recovery process includes talking about relapse, since it can occur in recovery. Recovering from substance addiction is never easy, and the types of relapse triggers truth is, the risk of relapsing is always going to be there. Still, having a relapse prevention plan and recognizing your personal relapse triggers can drastically lower your chances of relapsing.
- As a leading men’s detox center, we recognize the critical importance of relapse prevention in the recovery process.
- Recovery from addiction requires significant changes in lifestyle and behavior, ranging from changing friend circles to developing new coping mechanisms.
- It’s not uncommon for people who struggle with addictions to relapse after completing treatment, and it doesn’t mean treatment failed.
- Everyone will have different emotions that cause their substance use.
- The final stage is succumbing to temptation and engaging in drug or alcohol use again.