How to deal with drug relapse – Seven tips to help you recover.

deal with drug relapse

Table of Contents

We often do not have time to care for our health with strict deadlines and busy schedules. It is where the dependency on certain medications starts. It is convenient for us to pop a pill for a headache rather than taking a nap and clearing our minds. Over time, when our hands start reaching the medicine cabinet frequently, we may become addicted to medications, so much so that it becomes impossible for us to get through a single day without popping some pills.

Addictions are of many types; one of them is an addiction to certain medications. People often become addicts to substances like alcohol or recreational drugs. Some also lean towards such substances to hide any physiological issues or even loneliness.

Addiction to any substance can have devastating effects on the social life and health of the victim. However, increasing awareness about the detrimental effects of such habits has encouraged affected people to join rehabilitation programs. Such programs help them control their addiction and have a chance at a better life. But, getting rid of an addiction is not easy. Studies claim that 40–60% of people suffer relapses from time to time. 

We should not treat a drug relapse as a roadblock on the path to recovery. Let us understand the reason behind these relapses and how to deal with them.

Note: If you notice yourself or anyone near you battling addiction, it is time to get counselling. You can reach out to to learn more about addiction counselling and rehabilitation programs. 

What is a relapse of drug addiction? 

We can define relapse as a state of returning to the previous ways of drug addiction after being under rehabilitation for the same. Deprivation of the addicted substance results from relapse of drug addiction due to loss of self-control and the dysregulation of the brain.

A relapse may happen due to many reasons. After a while, you may start feeling better and stop following their disease management routine. It may eventually lead to relapse. Also, you may relapse to a different addiction, like gambling or alcoholism, to get rid of the first addiction. 

Drug relapse prevention is an essential part of the recovery journey as people are at risk of relapse even after years of being clean.

What are the symptoms of relapse of drug addiction?

Drug addiction relapse can happen at any time during or after rehabilitation. It may take some time for you to start using drugs again after rehabilitation. It is a gradual process where you may start thinking about using drugs again. This thought gradually becomes strongermore robust, leading to a relapse.

A person may show the following symptoms of relapse of drug addiction- 

  1. The person starts to isolate themselves. They do this to avoid judgment from others. It is the first and classic symptom of relapse of drug addiction.
  2. They suddenly stop going to the addiction meetings or stop taking treatments, often announcing that they are doing well and no longer need treatment.
  3. They may start avoiding food or skipping meals.
  4. They may relax their self-imposed rules, which once kept them away from drugs.
  5. They may suddenly start to reminisce about the time they were using drugs.
  6. They may want to get in touch with people who may be related to their drug use in any way. 

What are the effects of relapse of drug addiction? 

  1. Most people with addiction understand that they have a problem and willingly make efforts to get rid of it. They may have positive thoughts and hopes of returning to their everyday lives during the rehabilitation. However, a relapse may put them into a negative space again.
  2. The effects of relapse of drug addiction may leave the person broken. 
  3. They may also start to fall into the pit of dark thoughts and contemplate their actions. 
  4. Most of them fall into depression and start showing negative emotions such as excessive anger, anxiety, or moodiness. 
  5. They may also stop eating or taking care of themselves. 
  6. Their desire to get better reduces as they stop believing in their betterment program and stop cooperating with the staff for their treatment.

deal with drug relapse

What are the treatments for the relapse of drug addiction? 

Going into relapse is often a gradual process; therefore, there are higher chances of reducing the likelihood of relapse if we can catch the signs early on. 

Here are some common treatments for relapse of drug addiction:

  1. After a relapse, the best advice is to start the rehabilitation program from scratch. It will help the person understand the reason for their addiction and the purpose of their recovery.
  2. A complete detox program will help their body get rid of the drugs they consumed during the relapse.
  3. After a relapse, the individual may require a psychological assessment and therapy to understand the trigger of the degeneration and prevent it. This program will also help them get rid of their feeling of guilt and shame for the relapse, which is necessary for further treatment.
  4. It is vital to indulge in self-care after a relapse. Engaging in things that bring a person joy will help divert their mind from the addiction and its triggers.
  5. The person can join a self-help group to meet individuals who have undergone the same circumstances. Listening to their recovery journey and experience will fill them up with positivity. 
  6. The person should set boundaries that are easier to follow. Taking baby steps towards recovery will make a massive difference in the result.
  7. To avoid a trigger or relapse, they must dissociate with people or things that remind them of their drug addiction. 

At United We Care, you can find online addiction counsellors who will guide you in managing your addiction. 

Relapses in drug addiction are not the end of the world. With a positive attitude, you can treat it as a new beginning. Treatment and rehabilitation can overcome your addiction; there is no better treatment than surrounding yourself with people who love and cherish you. They will fill you up with hope and positivity, making your recovery route easier.

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