Addiction Relapse

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Frequently asked questions

What is Addiction Relapse?

Relapse is the return to substance use after an attempt to stop or a period of abstinence. A person is considered to have relapsed if they begin using drugs again after months of therapy and sobriety.

How Common Is Relapse?

Relapse occurs more frequently than most people know. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), approximately half of those addicted to alcohol or other substances will relapse again (that is, take the substance) within five years after starting treatment. Only approximately 40% of people who enter treatment stay clean for three months, and only 20% stay clean for a year, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Why Do People Relapse?

People relapse for a variety of reasons. Some people relapse because they don't know how to avoid temptations and triggers. Others relapse because living without alcohol or drugs becomes monotonous. Others may relapse because they have lost hope or confidence in their abilities to stay clean. Whatever the cause, there are ways to avoid relapse and recover from it.

Which drugs have the highest relapse rates?

According to research, alcohol and opioids have the highest rates of relapse, with some studies estimating an alcohol relapse rate of up to 80% in the first year after treatment. Similarly, some studies show an opioid relapse rate of 80 to 95% in the first year following treatment.

What are the warning signs of Addiction relapse?

Negative emotional responses, such as anger, moodiness, and anxiety, are commonly experienced by the individual at risk of relapsing. They may also develop erratic eating and sleeping patterns, and their motivation to recover may decrease as a result of a lack of support systems.

What is the difference between a trigger and a warning sign?

Understanding your addiction triggers is one of the most important components of recovery from addiction. Knowing your triggers might help you avoid relapse by preventing symptoms from arising. Warning signs tell us that we have been triggered and are potentially in danger of a crisis.

Can you come back from a relapse?

You may have been drug-free and sober, but you are now abusing drugs, drinking excessively, gambling, eating excessively, or working excessively. Reaching out for support can help you get back on track. You may need to revisit your support system and accept that you require treatment once again.
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