Drug & Alcohol Addiction: Common Causes of Relapse

Drug  alcohol addiction common causes of relapse

Once a drug or alcohol addict recognizes they have a problem, seeks treatment and recovers in a rehab center, they still must face the challenges of relapse. A relapse occurs when a recovering addict that has reached a level of abstinence, reverts back to using drugs or alcohol again. This cycle of quitting, withdrawal, treatment, craving and relapse can destroy the addict’s self-esteem and confidence in their ability to live a drug-free life. Preventing a relapse is key.

Recovering from drug and alcohol addiction is a lifelong battle.

Once a drug or alcohol addict recognizes they have a problem, seeks treatment and recovers in a rehab center, they still must face the challenges of relapse. A relapse occurs when a recovering addict that has reached a level of abstinence, reverts back to using drugs or alcohol again. This cycle of quitting, withdrawal, treatment, craving and relapse can destroy the addict’s self-esteem and confidence in their ability to live a drug-free life. Preventing a relapse is key. This is why it is so important to understand the most common causes of drug relapse. Below are a few:

  • Cravings – Cravings are perhaps the biggest driver in a drug or alcohol relapse. Cravings can be physical or psychological in nature. The physical compulsion and mental obsession to abuse drugs and alcohol can remain with someone for years.
  • Stress – Stress is one of the most common causes of relapse. Addicts use alcohol and drugs as a way to self-medicate and deal with their stress. Problems dealing with stress caused by daily activities such as work, paying bills, and managing relationships with spouse and children can all trigger a relapse. Major life changes such as loss of a job or a family tragedy can also trigger the desire to use drugs or alcohol again.
  • Loss of Judgment – Loss of judgment is another common cause of drug and alcohol relapse. Following quitting and abstinence, individuals often battle emotions such as anger, anxiety and confusion. They may become irritated easily or unable to relax. Volatile emotions can lead to a loss of judgment which then triggers a relapse.
  • Going back to old social circles – The temptation to hang out with former social circles may be strong. Following the decision to become sober, it may be difficult to adjust to a sober lifestyle and make new friends. Loneliness or the need to “fit in again” may prompt someone on the road to recovery to pick up the phone next time a former party friend calls again.
  • Losing Control – Often times a loss of control will trigger the desire to use drugs or alcohol again. The person in recovery may convince themselves that they can control their drug use. They may begin to believe they can “drink socially” or use drugs “recreationally”.

Relapse happens and when it does, the user experiences strong feelings of shame and guilt. The good news is relapse is preventable. One of the best ways to prevent a relapse is to recover at a 12 step drug rehab center that focuses on relapse prevention as a primary element in addiction recovery. At The Cabin Chiang Mai, our goal is to empower our clients with the tools they need to prevent a relapse by identifying the signs of relapse before it happens.

If you or someone you know is suffering from drug or alcohol addiction and would like to learn more about our approach to recovery and relapse prevention, contact us today at +66 818295250 or send us an email at [email protected].