What should I do if I or a loved one relapses on alcohol or drugs?


One of the most upsetting things a family can go through is to watch helplessly as a loved one relapses. Nevertheless, it occurs frequently during addiction recovery. The majority of people tend to view treatment as a short-term solution when they are attempting to overcome the negative effects of alcohol or drug use on their lives. Overcoming addiction to drugs or alcohol and resuming their lives as soon as possible is the goal for the majority of addicts and their families. After that, they want to be free of addiction for good. These expectations for a speedy treatment and super durable goal of habit are very much reasonable, yet tragically, such a conclusive result applies to just a subset of individuals with liquor or ongoing drug habits. If you or a loved one has relapsed on drugs or alcohol, what should you do?

Multiple treatments may be required for a patient to maintain control over their addictive behaviour

While professional treatment is the best option for overcoming addiction and rehabilitation is effective for most patients, the treatment process for addiction is not always simple or straightforward.. In reality, a patient may require multiple addiction treatment sessions to maintain control over their addictive behavior. Patients may need to return to treatment in order to learn skills that they did not learn in the previous treatment or to improve on skills they already have. Sometimes, addictive behavior comes back early in recovery, or it turns out that a person needed to stay in treatment for a longer time to succeed. Recovery from addiction is highly dependent on the drug’s addiction profile, and treatment will take longer if the addiction was particularly severe. Therefore, it is difficult to accurately predict a patient’s risk of relapse.

The best programs for dealing with relapse will be these ones. When assisting patients in overcoming addiction, it is necessary to strike a balance between assisting them with their immediate requirements and equipping them with the skills necessary for their long-term success. It is just as important to assist someone in calming their emotional distress in the present moment as it is to assist them in preparing for cravings management in the months or even years to come. The term “Relapse Prevention” refers to this long-term approach to addiction treatment, and it is one of the most fundamental components of any addiction rehabilitation program. On the off chance that gotten along admirably, numerous patients might possibly stay away from or limit the requirement for later hospitalizations, or perceive when re-hospitalization is fundamental, guaranteeing long haul accomplishment with recuperation and modifying life. Therefore, if you or someone you care about is thinking about getting treatment for addiction, find out about any programs that a treatment center offers that are based on evidence and prevent relapse!

Addiction is primarily viewed by mental health professionals as akin to a chronic disease. 

Before I discuss relapse prevention strategies, I want to clarify that, despite the fact that addiction causes many short-term issues—often severe ones—it is primarily viewed as such. This is due to the fact that 30-60% of people receiving addiction treatment relapse or recur after leaving treatment (Andersson, Wenaas, & Nordfjörn, 2019; 2021) Ignaszewski A relapse occurs when a patient is improving from drug or alcohol use symptoms but returns to substance use behavior before recovery is complete. In a similar vein, a recurrence occurs when a person has fully recovered from the symptoms of a substance use disorder for a considerable amount of time but then returns to problematic drug use. Enslavement repeat can happen numerous years after fruitful treatment.

There are many reasons why a patient relapses or recovers. While each patient’s reasons for relapse or recovery are unique, the majority of patients agree that cravings for substances can occur even years or decades after quitting. These cravings for drugs or alcohol are typically brought on by changes in the brain that occur when a person uses drugs or alcohol. These neurological changes cause the patient to want to use drugs even though there are many problems (Wemm & Sinha, 2019). As a result, due to the long-term possibility of relapse, some researchers have suggested treating addiction like other chronic illnesses, with relapse only acting as a trigger for new treatment (McLellan et al., 2000). Relapse prevention programs are incorporated into successful addiction recovery programs as part of this understanding of the nature of addiction.

Factors That Cause Addiction Relapse

During the initial stages of drug or alcohol rehabilitation, the primary focus of treatment is on meeting immediate requirements. This includes helping patients begin to develop coping mechanisms for cravings as well as addressing major life issues brought on by substance use (such as legal and family issues). The discomforts of withdrawal and the frustrations of coming to terms with having a substance use problem make the early stages of treatment the most difficult, but things get a little easier in the later stages of hospitalization and rehabilitation.

Upon treatment culmination, be that as it may, the genuine difficulties for recuperating patients start

Upon treatment culmination, be that as it may, the genuine difficulties for recuperating patients start. Although most patients feel better equipped to manage their lives after treatment, a patient’s resolve to control addictive behavior and new skill sets are put to the test almost immediately. In contrast to when they were enrolled in a treatment program, patients returning to their daily lives will face a greater variety of old and new stressors and will have easier access to alcohol or another substance. While some of these stressors will fade away over time, others may persist for many years and catch people off guard.

The following are some of the contributing factors to relapse from addiction: failing to address co-occurring psychiatric disorders like depression or anxiety, having strong cravings for a substance that persist, using other drugs than the one that got them into treatment, having unresolved trauma and other negative life events, being impulsive, and having biological vulnerabilities (Sliedrech et al., 2019; 2020) Stillman and Sutcliff As can be seen from these factors, the success of recovery depends on having a facility that has been approved to provide treatment for dual diagnoses, like Treatment Centers. As a result, many of the pitfalls of the addictions recovery process can result in relapse and hospitalization, but many patients achieve long-term recovery success thanks to relapse prevention strategies.

Strategies Based on Evidence for Preventing Relapse

One of the best ways to reduce a patient’s risk of relapse over the long term is to prepare them for experiences and risk factors that could cause them to relapse into addictive behavior. It’s tempting for patients nearing the end of a rehabilitation program to concentrate primarily on their progress. Despite the fact that it is critical to acknowledge a patient’s progress in recovery, the greatest obstacles to long-term success arise after treatment is completed. Having a supportive social network, developing confidence in one’s coping skills, and recognizing a positive purpose and meaning in life outside of alcohol or drugs are important for maintaining long-term recovery (Sliedrech et al., 2019). According to Marlatt & Donovan (2005), preventing relapse also requires implementing evidence-based approaches to relapse prevention such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and contingency management.


Individual and group therapy approaches that provide evidence-based relapse prevention support offered and Dual Diagnosis Approved programs like Treatment Centers. Relapse prevention treatment strategies are essential to long-term success in addiction recovery. Patients and their families can also benefit from thinking of addiction as a long-term condition (McLellan et al., 2000), and it is normal for the addiction recovery process to encounter some challenges or even setbacks. Re-hospitalization should be viewed as necessary to a patient’s health and well-being rather than as a sign of failure on the patient’s part if it is required at some point. The fact that patients return to treatment and recommit to beating addictive behavior is more important than personal feelings of self-disappointment, which are common when many patients return to substance use behavior or outright relapse. Recovery and freedom from addiction are worth fighting for, even if it takes a lifetime to achieve for some.

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