If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction or a substance abuse issue, you may be familiar with the term ‘relapse.’ The relapse definition is when, after achieving short term or long-term sobriety, a person in recovery begins abusing drugs or alcohol again. A relapse can lead to you returning to addiction and needing to re-enter treatment.
Additionally, the definition of relapse includes abusing a substance other than your original substance or drug of choice. This means you can relapse even if you are no longer using your substance of choice.
Relapse is a major concern during recovery. This is because starting to use again after detoxing can increase the risk of suffering a fatal or serious overdose. Additionally, relapse can lead to you returning to active addiction. When you return to a lifestyle of addiction, it can be frustrating for you and family members. Entering rehab or an addiction treatment program can help you find the support you need to prevent future relapse.
So, what is the definition of relapse? The relapse definition is when you begin abusing or become addicted to drugs and alcohol after a period of recovery and sobriety. Relapse can occur at any point during recovery. It is most often seen during the first few months of sobriety and throughout early recovery.
Many people in recovery experience relapses of various lengths. The most common things that can trigger a relapse include:
- Exposure to stress
- Environmental cues which result in cravings
- Associating with people who continue to abuse drugs and/or alcohol
- Emotional distress
- Relationship problems
- Career and financial issues
One of the most common triggers for relapses center around stress and emotions. Negative emotions and stressful situations can cause you to relapse as a means to cope with life events and bad situations. Understanding the relapse definition can help you prepare for difficulties during early recovery and work with your treatment team and support network to create a relapse prevention plan.
How Treatment Helps Prevent Relapses
Structured treatment and relapse therapy can help you better prepare for cravings and learn successful coping mechanism to prevent relapsing. An important part of inpatient and outpatient treatment is helping you to learn healthy coping strategies for when you experience cravings or stress. Some coping strategies can include participating in new hobbies or physical exercise.
Another important part of relapse prevention is creating a support network you can reach out to if you are struggling with cravings. Community and peer-led support groups can help you connect with other people in recovery who have experience with combating cravings.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or addiction issues, it can be difficult to reach out for help. The relapse definition of returning to active addiction following a period of sobriety can be frustrating, especially if you have already been to treatment. Whether you are battling drug addiction or alcoholism, when you experience a relapse, it is important to find help. To take the first step towards recovery, or to learn more about our treatment programs, call Providence Treatment today at 866.247.3307.