It’s not unusual for addicts and their loved ones to wonder if relapse is part of recovering from addiction. But is it? Relapsing on drugs and alcohol after being in recovery is a common fear of both recovering addicts and their loved ones. While relapse may be part of recovery for some addicts, it isn’t always and it doesn’t have to be. Understanding why relapse happens for some addicts in recovery as well as the measures that can be taken to avoid a relapse plays a critical role in relapse prevention.
Recovering from Addiction
The truth about recovering from addiction is that it’s not easy. It takes hard work to get and stay sober, especially after an addict has become so accustomed to turning to substances for just about any reason. Whether an addict has just began their recovery journey or has been sober for decades, a relapse can still happen. Addiction is a cunning, baffling, and powerful disease, so if an addict ever returns to using substances, they put themselves at great risk for the same consequences and cycle of addiction. But relapse doesn’t begin when the addict picks up the drink or drug. Just like recovery, relapse is a process. It typically occurs over time, beginning with a negative change in behavior and attitude but ultimately leading to the individual turning to the substances.
While a relapse can happen for a number of reasons, some of the most common are related to not maintaining a solid program of recovery or receiving continual help for addiction and underlying issues, as well as significant stress, loss of a loved one, depression, triggers like familiar places, and even celebrations. A relapse back on alcohol and drugs doesn’t mean that a recovering addict has failed. Recovering from addiction isn’t linear for everybody. Some addicts do relapse and it’s a setback, but an addict can get back on the wagon by getting the help they need, which should be done as quickly as possible to prevent further relapses and the repetitive cycle of addiction. The best action that an addict can take after a relapse is seeking support from addiction professionals, sober supports, loved ones, or a recovery community. In order for an addict to get the help they truly need, it may be necessary for the individual to get back into a recovery program, which may include going to a medical detox and inpatient rehab center.
Addiction Is A Disease
The reality of an alcohol and drug relapse is that once an addict returns to using substances even as little as one time, they open the door for the mental and physical obsession to return. Addiction has no cure, so the addict can easily become hooked back on the same drugs and alcohol that destroyed their life, even after the addict was sober for a long period of time. Getting clean does not make you immune to the disease of addiction. When an addict isn’t using substances and is in recovery, the disease of addiction remains dormant, but an addiction can manifest itself from the minute an addict returns to the drug. When addicts use substances after being clean, they can even put themselves at risk for an overdose if they try to take the same amounts that they did when they were last taking drugs and drinking alcohol.
So, how do you prevent a relapse after being in recovery from addiction? It’s best for recovering addicts to remain honest with their program of recovery. This can mean being honest about feelings, drug cravings, triggers, and issues in their life with addiction professionals, sponsors, sober supports, recovery communities, and/or loved ones. The truth is that stress, triggers, and problems may happen because life doesn’t stop when you get sober, but a recovering addict does need to continually work on finding and using healthier coping mechanisms so that they don’t return back to the drugs and alcohol that kept them in active addiction.
If you are struggling after an alcohol and drug relapse or haven’t been able to stay clean because you are stuck in active addiction, then you need to know that recovery is completely possible, even for you. The Watershed Addiction Treatment Programs can provide a safe space for you to detox off the substances as well as treatment for underlying issues causing you to seek substances in the first place. You deserve to live a healthy life without the crutch of alcohol and drugs. Call The Watershed today at 1-800-861-1768.Tags: Addiction, drug addiction, drug relapse, relapse, Relapse Prevention, signs of a relapse