When a person enters recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction, they often feel great excitement about their newfound sobriety and plan to keep it going permanently. Sadly, many people end up relapsing and don’t know where to turn. Getting back into treatment as fast as possible and finding out their specific causes of relapse can help them become sober again quickly and negotiate any future temptations to use again.
Causes of Relapse Are Common But Don’t Have To Be Permanent
Studies consistently show that 40-60% of people who enter treatment for addiction to drugs and alcohol end up relapsing at some point. Because of how commonly this occurs, it’s important to be aware of the most common causes of relapse. Knowing what to look out for can help people put on the brakes before relapse occurs or quickly recognize it when it does and begin a plan of action. Here are five common causes of relapse:
Withdrawal Symptoms Is One Of The Leading Causes of Relapse
Withdrawal symptoms can be quite challenging and often constitute the main cause of relapse. Withdrawal symptoms can include physical ones, such as headaches, nausea, tremors, and body aches. They also often include emotional symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, and hopelessness. Some withdrawal symptoms can even be medically dangerous, making it imperative that a person in treatment for addiction receives help managing these symptoms.
When a person either tries to detox alone or does so in a program that does not provide assistance for withdrawal symptoms, they put themselves at increased risk for relapsing. A well-managed program will provide methods to help reduce or eliminate many withdrawal symptoms, both while in treatment and after a person graduates from it. This increases the odds that a person will stay in recovery and avoid relapsing.
Causes of Relapse Could Be From Returning Home Too Quickly
The longer a person stays in a recovery program, the less likely they are to relapse. Sometimes people leave treatment earlier than medically advised because they lose faith in getting better, they aren’t receiving adequate treatment for their specific needs, or they have financial concerns. Addiction treatment works best when it’s not coming from a cookie-cutter approach or terminates too quickly. Whether first seeking treatment or returning to it after relapse occurs, a person should make sure their treatment team takes into account their individual needs and recommends an adequate amount of time for receiving it.
Many people choose outpatient programs for addressing their relapse treatment. Because outpatient programs are day treatment only and do not require a 24/7 residential stay, they are usually more cost-effective. For someone who has been through initial addiction treatment, outpatient treatment may be the best choice to help them relearn old lessons without moving away from home. Outpatient treatment can help individuals understand what their causes of relapse are and teach them ways to avoid a recurrence.
Toxic Relationships Could Be A Major Cause In Relapse
A newly sober person needs to reevaluate the relationships in their lives in order to understand which ones prove to be toxic and need to be put on hold or ended. Weeks or months of successful treatment can be compromised when a person assimilates back into a romantic relationship, friendships, or close contact with family members who currently abuse drugs or alcohol. Addicts often put their own addictions above all else and may not concern themselves with helping their loved ones stay sober.
Allowing toxic relationships to continue constitutes one of the main causes of relapse. To avoid this, a person can brainstorm with their treatment provider to determine which relationships in their lives are toxic and how to handle them. Finding new friends and hobbies can provide a person with a healthy way to socialize without putting their sobriety at risk.
Ignoring Self-Care Can Cause Relapse
Recovery from substance use disorders doesn’t just involve not drinking or using drugs. Learning the art of self-care adds a great deal to a person’s recovery, providing a well-rounded new ritual of taking care of all parts of themselves. Self-care comes from using many approaches, including consistently eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and paying attention to daily hygiene.
Holistic approaches, including yoga, meditation, acupuncture, wilderness therapy, and other treatments, influence how a person feels on a daily basis. They not only help create peace of mind, but holistic treatments also help reduce and eliminate some of the symptoms that accompany mental illness, such as feeling depressed or anxious.
“Just One” Thinking Could Be The First Sign To Relapsing
It is not uncommon for people in recovery to think that “just one” alcoholic beverage or “just one” hit of drugs is okay. Sadly, this type of mindset can be detrimental to a recovering addict. Even just a taste of alcohol or a slight high can send them into a downward spiral—jeopardizing the progress they worked so hard to make. In order to prevent relapse, it is imperative for those in recovery to understand that no substance is worth the risk.
Treatment for Addiction Relapse in Los Angeles
If you or someone you know has experienced a relapse and again struggles with addiction to drugs or alcohol, we can help. We help our clients get to the bottom of their causes of relapse and learn how to keep it from happening again. We provide addiction treatment and help manage any accompanying mental illnesses for young adults in our scenic locations in Los Angeles.