An addiction relapse is a situation that involves someone who’s undergone treatment for substance abuse. When this individual uses again, even if it’s only once, you’re dealing with a relapse. It’s a common misconception that this situation signals a failure of treatment. Instead, it’s part of the process.

Understanding What an Addiction Relapse Is

Sad bearded man wondering why addiction relapse always happens.

The disease model of addiction explains that dependence is a chronic illness. This classification puts it on par with diabetes or asthma. It also means that there’s no actual cure. During treatment, the therapist can help you to control the condition and put it into remission.

But trigger situations still occur. During one of these occasions, it’s possible that someone goes against better judgment and uses again. Typically, you can tell afterward what set off your desire or need to reach for a drug. Because therapists want to help you prevent triggers from leading to renewed use, they provide you with relapse prevention tools.

Tools You Can Use to Prevent an Addiction Relapse from Happening

It’s rare that an addiction relapse sneaks up on you. Because reaching for a drug is frequently a combination of choices, therapists enable you to recognize triggers. Parts of this relapse prevention plan include:

  • Customizable rehab facility stays that allow for treatment lasting 30, 60, or 90 days
  • Targeted programs for women, men, first responders, students, executives, and other groups that require special care
    Sober living programs encourage a gradual easing back into life rather than an immediate immersion
  • Life skills training offers opportunities for taking on employment or continuing education to build a successful future
  • One-on-one counseling provides you with insight into your behaviors and thoughts, which empowers you to make changes

It’s vital to recognize that there isn’t one addiction relapse prevention tool that acts as a magic wand. Rather, a combination of treatments and personal growth helps you make different choices. In the process of undergoing addiction therapy, you also learn about the most likely causes for someone to start using again.

For example, someone with an alcohol abuse disorder should stay out of bars and situations where alcohol consumption occurs. Granted, this might mean sitting out the sports game party at a friend’s house. However, if doing so protects you from drinking alcohol again, it’s a sacrifice worth making. This realization goes hand in hand with the dangerous attitude of complacency.

You might feel that you have your cravings under control. You may have spent time with people who drink alcohol and haven’t used. But becoming complacent might mean that you give up attending support groups. Over time, you may very possibly underestimate the strength of the temptation.

Positive Steps to Take to Prevent or Handle an Addiction Relapse

A strong support network is a fundamental component of sustainable sobriety. During your rehab, therapists work with you and others in group settings to create a sense of unity. Because drug abuse frequently leads to isolation, taking this step may take a little training. A 12-Step approach can have a profound impact on individuals who thrive in a community setting.

Developing realistic expectations of yourself is another step. When you undergo evidence-based practice therapies, you learn about patterns in your thinking and feeling. Part of this process is the creation of a workable schedule that supports your goal of becoming productive without using. Of particular importance is filling the times when you would use drugs in the past.

You also learn to recognize that hiccups along the way are part of recovery. Therefore, if you do relapse, you won’t see it as an end to your recovery. Instead, you learn that you need more help and contact therapists again for a refresher stay at the facility.

Finding Help Today

If you recognize that your drug use is out of control, it’s time for rehab. Examples of treatments include:

Maybe you’ve already done a detox and immediately suffered an addiction relapse. At Beaches Recovery, therapists want to help whether this is your first stay at a facility or a subsequent one. Dial 866.605.0532 now for immediate assistance.