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A Relapse Cannot Be Viewed As Failure

Suffering A Relapse

Anyone who has successfully completed initial inpatient rehabilitation for drug or alcohol addiction will be very conscious that suffering a relapse is possible.

The reason for stating this is because it is estimated that between 40-60% of recovering addicts will experience a return to drug or alcohol use at some stage during their recovery.

Suffering A Relapse – Three major reasons that can trigger a relapse:

Reasons for relapsing vary between individuals and their personal situation, but there is a common thread behind some. Here are three reasons that are most often cited by recovering addicts who have relapsed. These recovering addicts also stepped back up to the challenge and maintained long-term sobriety:


It is little wonder that being stressed, or finding yourself in a stressful situation is one of the major reasons that cause recovering addicts to relapse.

Stress comes in many forms and can often tip the scales in the wrong direction for those recovering from addiction. They often feel that everything is just too difficult, nothing is going as planned and the easiest escape route is to return to the substance they were addicted to.

While this may seem an easy way out it must be understood that it is the wrong way to go. Those having a stressful time need to remain strong and positive. They must also dig deep and remember lessons learnt while going through their successful rehabilitation.

If something in particular is constantly stressing you out then changes need to be made. Two situations that often create excessive stress relate to lifestyle and relationship issues. Whatever is causing stress must be addressed and necessary changes put into place.

Suffering A Relapse – Avoid old associates and haunts:

It may not be easy to accept, but if you are determined to remain sober then friends and haunts that are associated with your addiction must be avoided. This is particularly the case during the early stages of recovery.

Going back will be of no value and by doing so you are inviting the possibility of a relapse to become a reality.

Negative emotions:

Recovering addict or not, everyone suffers with negative emotions of varying degrees and these need to be dealt with in a positive fashion.

Recovering addicts who have relapsed due to such emotions state that anger, anxiety, frustration and loneliness were their major relapse triggers. This make it vital for a recovering addict to constantly discuss any nagging, negative emotions with their counsellor, sponsor or a trusted friend and work out ways to effectively manage these feelings.

Suffering A Relapse – A Setback but certainly not failure:

It cannot be denied that suffering a relapse is a large step backwards for a recovering addict, but it must not be viewed as failure.

If this does happen it is absolutely vital that you do not try to hide the fact. Be completely honest with your counsellor and explain the reasons behind the relapse.

By doing this it will be possible to reassess your ongoing treatment and make changes wherever necessary. It is important to understand and accept that your recovery targets are not set in stone.

Any relevant changes in your recovery plan should be agreed and then embraced. This will help ensure positive healing continues. By adopting this attitude and approach you will reduce the chances of relapse. You will also strengthen your determination to achieve long-term sobriety.

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