A large percentage of recovering addicts relapse – the figures represent up to 60%. Relapse is a moment of weakness in your journey to a clean self. It should not deter you from attempting to better yourself.
Many people ask the question, how common is relapse in recovery? The answer to this question is that relapse is quite common. It means that relapse is not a sign of weakness but a stage in the recovery process. To understand this subject better, you need to look into the causes of relapse.
Common Causes of Relapse
- Withdrawal Symptoms
When an addict deprives their body of a substance it has already become used to, it may react with unpleasant signs. These are called withdrawal symptoms, and they can go for as long as one and a half years. They include vomiting, insomnia, nausea, diarrhea, restlessness, among others. The severity depends on the type of drug and duration of usage. However, to lessen the effect of withdrawal symptoms, you should consult a doctor. There are medical drugs you can take to make things better.
- Your State of Mental Health
In most cases, drugs and alcohol abuse results from other underlying issues. You use alcohol or drugs as a coping mechanism, and it ends up getting you hooked. When you stop using drugs and do not address the main reason for taking them in the first place, the recovery journey might be affected. If you seek help from medical professionals, they will work with you hand in hand to suppress the triggers, which could be depression, anxiety, personality disorder, and PTSD. There are different ways doctors can help you cope with what caused you to abuse drugs and alcohol. It might be a long-term exercise, but it might be the only way to get you off the hook.
- Friends and Family
The people closest to you might be the reason you relapse. In most cases, people who use drugs do not do it alone, they do it with friends. When you get addicted to drugs and later choose to quit, it is advisable to set clear boundaries between yourself and your friends. They might be your friends, but being in a social gathering with them using drugs and alcohol might lead you to relapse. When you feel strong enough to be around friends who use drugs and alcohol, and you fail to get the urge to consume them, then that is an indication that you are on the right track. However, getting to this stage takes time and dedication.
- Your Environment
It would help if you avoided the places you and your friends used to go drinking, at least in the initial stages of your recovery. Your brain associates these places with the substances you abused; this can trigger it to demand them. Suppose you used to consume drugs while in your home. You will need to learn to manage the triggers that will come with you being there. You might not avoid your home, but you can take out things like the liquor cabinet. If you can, you should move out for the time being. If you ever feel triggered to use drugs and alcohol while in a new place, look around to identify what triggers your brain to react that way and avoid it if you cannot deal with it.
- How You Treat Yourself
The way you treat yourself during recovery will send different signals to the body. When you treat yourself well, you feel good about what you have become and encourage yourself. When you do not, you will end up feeling sorry for yourself and possibly have a relapse. Poor nutrition will result in weight gain, which might cause depression, a powerful trigger for a relapse. Simple things such as poor sleep can cause low moods and anxiety, which could cause a relapse. When you get off drugs, treat yourself well and feel good about the decision you made. It is essential to send your inner self a message of hope.
Recovery is a long-term commitment that will need you more than it will require the doctor. Your chances of recovery improve the longer you stay sober. Staying drug-free for at least a year is an excellent achievement for recovering addicts. There are different ways you can get support and assistance. If you feel the need to take the bold step, you can contact our team any time, 24 hours a day. Call us at 833-846-5669.