Relapse is not uncommon amongst recovering drug addicts. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), relapse rates range from 40 to 60 percent. It is possible for an addiction to be cured, or managed, but it’s a long journey ahead. An addict may ask themselves, why did I relapse and what does this mean for my recovery?
Relapsing means that you are slipping back into the former state you were in before going into treatment. It is normal for someone recovering from addiction to lapse back into drug use.
Going through a relapse shows that you must return to the previous treatment, or try a new treatment. You should reevaluate the events that led up to the relapse in order to prevent another one from happening.
You may relapse when put in a high-risk situation; making you more vulnerable to drug-seeking behavior. Like a domino effect, relapsing is caused by several small events, leading up to one major relapse.
You could be in a high-risk situation and think you are in complete control; next thing you know you are denying to have ever had a problem in the first place. It is important to have preventative measures after treatment in order to reduce the risk of relapsing.
Relapses usually happen gradually over time. You can begin relapsing way before even taking a drug again. Knowing the signs early on will help prevent going back to drug use. The warning signs of a drug relapse can be broken down into three categories: emotional, mental, and physical signs.
If you are found facing a physical relapse, you will start using drugs “just once” or return to uncontrolled use.
If you find yourself relapsing, it is important to ask for help. Relapsing does not mean you have failed. It is all a part of the recovery process. Thinking more positively is just another step toward preventing addictive thoughts. If you can recognize the signs of relapse and are able to seek help, you will soon be on the road to recovery.