Patients who complete addiction recovery programs will relapse within their first year of recovery at a rate of up to 60 percent. This number may seem shocking, but relapse is a common experience for those battling addiction. Relapses happen when an individual falls back into actively engaging with their addiction. Although relapses aren’t indicative of failure, individuals and their loved ones perpetually fear them. An endless cycle of reliving the emotional turmoil that first brought a patient into treatment makes relapse a scary prospect. The simple act of learning relapse prevention techniques can reduce the potential for relapse while providing patients a sense of comfort, knowing they’re actively doing everything to maintain their recovery.
At Baltimore Detox Center, we recognize the importance of continuing care, which is why we offer a relapse prevention program. Our team wants to help you or a loved one avoid chronic relapse and keep you on the right track.
What Is Chronic Relapse?
The ultimate goal of substance abuse treatment is maintaining long-term recovery. For many patients, achieving recovery is not as much of a struggle as maintaining it proves to be. It occurs when recovery is attempted multiple times but doesn’t seem to “stick.” It‘s necessary to view relapses as inevitable consequences of the chronic nature of the disease and not as a moral failing. Most recovery journeys aren’t linear; there are times where things get sidetracked or even derailed, but by forgiving yourself quickly, you’ll realize it’s not the end of the world. Relapses can be helpful learning tools that indicate to patients, their families, and healthcare providers that at least one aspect of treatment isn’t working. Following a relapse, an individual can gauge the effectiveness of their recovery plan, reassess, and take actions to course correct.
These are some common causes of relapses, such as:
- Frequent “slips” – A slip is the simple act of using a substance and might happen from time to time. There may be circumstances leading you to engage with substances briefly. One drink or pill does not equal a relapse. However, addicts should closely monitor their frequency because they are red flags for a relapse.
- Recent major life events, like job loss or the death of a loved one that causes intense distress
- Returning to old behaviors, people, or places tied to addiction
- Acute onsets of psychiatric disorders
- Over-confidence from being “cured.” Your life may be on track, but not enough time has passed to reverse your physical and chemical addiction pathways.
What Are the Causes of Chronic Relapse?
Often, there are typical warning signs that show a relapse is on the horizon. Still, with precautions, the addict can prevent them. Here are some fundamental principles to keep in mind that may help minimize the potential for a relapse:
- For severe addictions, professionals recommend that patients attend a long-term inpatient treatment facility.
- Diagnose underlying physical and mental issues.
- Stay away from old habits and hangouts.
- Recognize your triggers, no matter how small.
Although a significant percentage of people will relapse within the first year, only 50 percent experience more than 2 relapses. It’s essential to keep the above principles in mind and remember that one drink won’t negate your previous progress. By catastrophizing mistakes, you’ll only lead yourself down a road of self-blame that threatens your recovery. No one is perfect. Maintaining a sense of optimism and managing your expectations are crucial to keeping your recovery on track.
Build a Solid Foundation for Your Recovery at Baltimore Detox Center
Relapse is never starting over at square one, even if the pain it causes sometimes makes it feel that way—fortunately, the more time invested in your recovery, the less chance of a future relapse. Call Baltimore Detox Center today at 833.714.1575 for more information about creating a solid foundation for your recovery.