Addiction recovery can be quite an achievement. Between the time you start and long after the treatments end, relapse is still possible. It is important to know what it is and what the dangers are.

This guide will also go over how you can guard against it. If you need additional information on what to do in the event of a relapse, Epiphany Wellness will provide it. You can visit their website to get started.

Let’s begin this guide by talking about the definition of relapse.

What is relapse?

A relapse is defined as a recurrence of substance abuse after a period of abstinence. Usually a relapse can occur due to certain factors. These factors can be one of the following:

  • Social pressure

  • Being in the wrong environment

  • Stress

  • Boredom

  • Negative feelings such as anger, sadness, etc.

It’s important to know that when a relapse occurs, it should not be considered a failure. Your treatment was a big step to take. Don’t think for a moment that it was all for not.

It’s true that certain factors like stress can be unavoidable. However, there are ways to manage it. We will discuss this later on the kind of coping mechanism you can use to handle stress.

What are the dangers of relapse?

When someone relapses, there are several dangers that will arise. This includes but are not limited to the following:

An increased risk of overdose

When you are re-introduced to the drug you were addicted to, overdose risks can be very high. You may go back to using the same amount to acquire that high you’ve been looking for. What you may not realize is that your body’s tolerance levels have since lowered.

Therefore, you may take an amount that you were used to. What can happen is that you will overdose as a result. Even worse, an overdose can lead to serious or even fatal consequences.

When you relapse, your next dose of drugs can be your last. That’s why it is important to make sure you prevent them from happening.

The addiction will return and get worse

An addiction will rear its head back in. Before you know it, things will go back to the way they were. Someone’s addiction will interfere with the lives of others. 

It will also bring someone back to the starting point. Again, the treatment plan before isn’t considered a failure. It’s a setback that needs to be corrected. 

The next treatment can be even more of a challenge. That’s why it is important to avoid a relapse from happening. While the first treatment can be tough, the next one can be even tougher.

Nothing is ever easy. Especially when it comes to addiction treatment. Yet, you will need to trust the process and continue forward.

It will set you back in rebuilding your life

After your first treatment, you may have had plans in rebuilding your life. Being able to make a plan involving daily healthy habits is important. A relapse can put these plans on hold.

It may set you back by a certain period of time. You will have a greater priority in front of you. That is getting over your latest battle with addiction.

Once you beat it again, you can pick up where you left off. This time, you may have learned a valuable lesson. You may have learned about the mistakes that have led to your relapse.

This time, you can finish planning a rebuild of your life. You can follow through with it.

How to guard against relapse?

Relapse is avoidable. It may be a lifelong task. But the habits you implement can become second nature.

Here is an action plan that you can do in order to avoid relapse:

Exercise on a regular basis

Exercising 30 minutes a day five times a week is key. This will boost your mood, reduce cravings, and keep your stress levels low. It’s important that you consider doing moderate intensity exercises including swimming, jogging, and biking among others.

You will notice that any cravings of the drug will be non-existent when exercising on a regular basis.

Avoid environments where drug and alcohol use is present

If you are somewhere where drugs or alcohol is present, it’s best to leave. This may trigger thoughts and temptations. It can also lead to people offering you a substance you are trying to avoid.

It can also lead to instances of social pressure. It is important that you don’t give into social pressure and relapsing. The sooner you see an opportunity to leave, the better.

Have a plan in case a relapse occurs

When a relapse occurs, it’s important to have a plan in place. This includes contacting certain people within your support network. It’s also a good idea to contact a treatment facility that will help you.

The sooner you execute on this plan, the better.

Take advantage of aftercare services and resources

Because of the risk of relapse, a treatment facility will have aftercare services and resources available. This can include therapists you can talk to, support groups, and others. You can access these any time in a physical location or online.

You are never far away from any aftercare services that you need. They will be there as a way to help you keep your sobriety on track.

Final Thoughts

Relapse can be avoidable. You have it within your power to do this. Follow the steps above to help you guard against it.

Keep in mind that those who relapse should have a plan that needs to be followed. Those that don’t will risk slipping back into addiction. They may even face the prospect of a fatal overdose.

Addiction treatment and aftercare is a lifelong thing. Be sure to do your part by instilling healthy habits daily. Doing so will make the process easier.

If relapse occurs, you know exactly what to avoid. Plus, you know exactly what actions to take going forward. 

Categories: Health

Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND Canada. I've been writing articles for more than 12 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I'm currently writing for many websites and newspapers. I always keep myself very informed to give you the best information. All my years as a computer scientist made me become an incredible researcher. You can contact me on our forum or by email at [email protected].