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Addiction is a lifelong struggle. A successful recovery is more than completing one program. In order for addicts to achieve long-term sobriety, they need to take care of the symptoms associated with addiction. Addiction needs to be treated like any other disease. A relapse doesn’t mean failure. The key is to know what causes relapse in drug addicts and how to deal with those triggers.

So, what does it mean when you relapse? If you are concerned about the possibility of yourself or someone you know relapsing, we’ve covered what you need to know.

What Does Relapse Mean?

Relapse is like trying to quit any other habit. It isn’t easy. People dealing with addiction may need to get treatment many times before they are able to achieve sobriety.  Learning how to live without drugs and alcohol can prove to be a real challenge.

According to the NIDA, relapse is common with addiction treatment. Relapse rates being are between 40 and 60 percent, which are similar rates of relapse with other chronic diseases such as hypertension, asthma, or type I diabetes.

However, just because relapse is common, doesn’t mean it is not dangerous. Often, drug and alcohol relapses can be harmful and potentially deadly. It is critical to understand what the warning signs for relapse are, and how to help someone who has relapsed.

What Causes Relapse in Drug Addicts?

The most likely cause for drug relapse is significant life changes. Addicts need to make a commitment to their sobriety, and that can be more difficult in times where they are facing hardship. The first few days and weeks of the recovery process are difficult. Learning how to adapt to life without drugs and alcohol can be stressful.

Beyond that, there are many other life events that can lead to a relapse.

Any stressful or emotional event, positive or negative may cause a relapse. This could be something anything from getting a new job to an illness in the family.

Being exposed to a trigger can also put an addict at risk. When put into a situation where a substance was previously used to cope, relapses are even more likely.

Warning Signs for Relapse

Catching the signs and symptoms of relapse early can be a huge factor in recovery. Of course, if an addict has experienced any emotional triggers or been exposed to the substance itself, that is a huge warning sign for relapse.

Other signs of relapse are changes in attitude, including being overconfident or suddenly negative.  Someone who is relapsing may also show a change in routine. This might include changes in personal hygiene or irresponsible behaviour.

If someone is seeking out their peers from the days that they were using or starting to be dishonest, they are likely heading towards a relapse.

How to Help Someone Who Has Relapsed

One of the best things that you can do to help someone who has relapsed is to be supportive. Understand that dealing with addiction is a battle. Be loving and patient towards anyone you know who struggled with addiction.

You should also understand what causes relapse in drug addicts and what might trigger the person you are concerned about. You should hold them accountable for their actions and set expectations for them. That being said, it is also very important for you to take care of yourself and create an environment that is conducive to a healthy lifestyle. If someone you know has relapsed, help them find treatment.

Wrapping Up

Relapse is common, but that does not mean that sober living is impossible. The key is to understand the signs of relapse in drug addiction and what the warning signs are. Then, you can be prepared to deal with that effectively.

If you or someone you know has relapsed, the first step is detox. Neworld Medical Detox can start the road to recovery. We provide individually catered medication detox protocols to help you achieve a successful withdrawal from drug and alcohol dependency. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help.