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What Causes Relapse In Addiction?

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Relapse In Addiction

It is a common concept among people that relapse occurs due to a lack of willpower or failure of the recovery process. However, it is not true. Relapse is a part of addiction recovery, and it can happen to anyone during the process. 

Whether an individual is still following the recovery program or has attained abstinence, he is at risk of relapses till achieving sobriety the last time. Even several studies have shown that a person going under the recovery from alcohol or substance use disorder would have slipped away from the track, and relapse occurred to him at some point. It is concluded that more than 80% of individuals may show relapses within the first year of recovery and up to 60% within the first month. It shows that the chances of relapses are quite high whether you have completed your recovery program or not.

What Triggers Relapses?

Wondering how relapse can occur after showing a quick and positive response to the treatment? Various factors can trigger relapse even after the completion of recovery. It can be disappointing for anyone who is struggling with drug addiction. However, knowing about them before encountering relapse may help you a lot to cope with these triggers. They may vary from person to person. Therefore, through this article, we aim to create awareness among individuals who are suffering from SUD or alcoholism. Hence, they will have enough knowledge and tips in hand to better deal with a relapse. 

Types of Triggers

There can be the following types of triggers to cause relapses in different conditions:

  • Environmental
  • Mental
  • Physical


People, places, and objects may also be one of the reasons for relapse. When you opt for sobriety, at the same time, you also need to make some choices to navigate your recovery towards success. You should avoid people who encourage you to drink or smoke, gatherings where alcohol is often served, and things that may remind you of your addiction. It may seem difficult in the first place, but you don’t have to cut ties with everyone as it’s also not good for your social life. However, you can make new friends, distance yourself from addicted peers, and find some positive hobbies for your leisure hours. 

Mental Triggers

Stress, anxiety, and depression, all these mental conditions can trigger a relapse in a person recovering from addiction. Oftentimes, these are the underlying causes that have made you addicted in the first place. At that time, many people start using drugs or alcohol as their primary coping mechanism without knowing that it may lead them to permanent dependency. But when they again encounter the same issues, such as work pressure, relationship issues, the burden of responsibilities, or posttraumatic stress, they can again turn to those drugs to avoid them.

Acquiring the help of a psychiatrist or counselor is the best option in this case. 


Severe pain from injury or withdrawal symptoms may urge you to fall back into addiction. Withdrawal symptoms vary among individuals depending upon their substance of abuse. Stop abusing substance abruptly does not help and often make you experience severe symptoms to make you think about restarting addiction. Therefore, it is always advised to seek out medical help at the rehab center for addiction recovery. Otherwise, the results may be reversed. 

Final Words

Since addiction is a chronic disease, chances of relapse are higher like any other chronic condition. Therefore, addicted individuals, when undergoing a recovery program, should prepare themselves for it. Also, at the rehab center, they have counselors and experts to talk to and create awareness among addicts about the coping mechanisms for relapses. You can only prevent it by identifying your triggers and practicing healthy ways to withstand them.

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