Recovery Center Blog

The Common Causes of an Addiction Relapse (And How to Avoid It)

Written By Recovery Centers - December 16th, 2022
The Common Causes of an Addiction Relapse (And How to Avoid It)

In the US alone, more than 20 million people struggle with addiction and substance use disorders. Despite these staggering figures, many of these individuals are taking the steps needed to gain their freedom from drug and alcohol abuse. With treatment centers popping up all over the country, more and more addicts are finding help and hope, leading to recovery.

Addiction relapse can feel like a personal failure. It can leave you feeling ashamed and embarrassed as if you have let yourself and your loved ones down. But addiction relapse is not something that happens because you are weak or do not want to recover.

So what causes addiction relapse? And more importantly, how can you avoid it? In this article, we’ll discuss the causes of addiction relapse and some strategies to help you prevent it.

Read on to learn more about the common causes of addiction relapse and how to avoid it.

What Is An Addiction Relapse?

Before we dive into the causes and prevention strategies, it’s important to understand what an addiction relapse is.

Addiction relapse is when a person who is in recovery from addiction begins using drugs or alcohol again after going through treatment and abstaining for some time. It can happen suddenly or gradually but either way, it can be hazardous and set back your progress considerably.

Furthermore, addiction relapse does not just mean one slip-up it can be defined as either a physical relapse or an emotional relapse.

A physical relapse is when a person starts actively using drugs or alcohol again, while an emotional relapse is when they start engaging in behavior that could lead to a physical relapse.

Common Causes of Addiction Relapse

There are many different factors that can contribute to an addiction relapse, which may include:

Stress and Anxiety – Stress and anxiety are two of the most common triggers for a person in recovery. When people feel overwhelmed by their day-to-day lives, they may turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with the strain and anxiety.

Poor Social Support – Having a strong support system around you is essential to staying sober, but not everyone has that. If someone doesn’t have people they can turn to for help, then they may be more likely to relapse.

Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms – People in recovery need to find healthy ways of coping with stress and difficult situations. But if someone does not have the skills or resources required to do that, such as therapy or meditation then they may resort back to their old ways of dealing with things (i.e., using drugs or alcohol).

Environment – People in recovery can be greatly influenced by their environment. If someone is surrounded by people who are still using drugs or alcohol, then they may be more likely to relapse.

Unresolved Trauma – Addiction often stems from trauma that has not been dealt with or resolved. Without proper treatment, this trauma can resurface and lead to an addiction relapse.

How To Avoid An Addiction Relapse

The good news is that there are steps you can take to avoid an addiction relapse, and these strategies will help strengthen your recovery in the long term:

  1. Have A Support System – A strong support system of people who understand what you’re going through is essential for avoiding a relapse. Make sure to have people you can turn to when times get tough.
  2. Develop Healthy Coping Mechanisms – It’s essential to find healthy ways of dealing with stress and difficult situations, such as meditation, therapy, exercise, or hobbies.
  3. Avoid Triggers – People in recovery should avoid any places or situations that could trigger an urge to use drugs or alcohol. This includes certain people, places, things, or emotions that may lead to a relapse.
  4. Take Care Of Yourself – Self-care is essential when avoiding a relapse make sure you are eating healthy meals regularly, getting plenty of sleep, exercising regularly, and so on.
  5. Get Professional Help – If you feel at risk of a relapse, then dont hesitate to get professional help. It could be talking to your therapist or doctor about it, joining a support group, or attending an intensive outpatient program.

Staying sober is not easy, but with the right resources and strategies in place, it is possible. Remember that if you do slip up, it’s not the end of the world. Pick yourself up and try again. With work and dedication, you can stay in recovery for good.

What to Avoid Doing When Overcoming Addiction?

When youre in the thick of overcoming addiction, there are some things to avoid doing that can make it harder to stay on track.

When struggling with an addiction, it can be tempting to isolate yourself and shut out the world. However, reaching out for help is essential for recovery, so dont be afraid to reach out to friends or family.

Dont be ashamed or embarrassed if you need help when overcoming an addiction. Many people understand what youre going through and will support you every step of the way.

Addiction recovery is a journey; it can be tempting to make excuses or tell yourself that its not that bad. However, its important to be honest with yourself if you want to move forward in your recovery truly.

Having goals gives you something to work towards and gives your life more purpose during recovery. Make sure to set achievable goals for yourself (such as going to therapy, attending meetings, etc.) so that you stay motivated.

Overcoming Addiction Together

Addiction is a complicated and difficult condition to manage, but with the right resources and strategies, it’s possible. It’s important to remember that if you or someone you know slips up, it doesn’t mean failure. Pick yourself up and try again.

With work and dedication, you can stay in recovery for good. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed – our strength lies in working together, so let’s continue fighting addiction together.

Get in touch if you’d like to reduce the risk of relapse and overcome addiction triggers safely.