In April 2021, statistics released annual drug overdoses, which surpassed 100,000. Compared to the previous year, this statistic was nearly 28.5% higher, and many overdoses occurred from opioid use. Specifically, fentanyl has been one of the leading causes of drug overdoses in recent years. 

Without support or coping skills, a drug relapse can lead to the worst possible outcome. If drug relapse does occur, you or a loved one need to know how to break the cycle and facilitate long-term recovery. 

Attending a high-quality rehab center in San Diego is one of the most critical steps. During rehab, you will learn skills that carry over into real-world applications. 

If you or a loved one has dealt with a substance use disorder, we have a must-read guide for you. In our article, we will review what drug relapse is, the causes, and how to manage or prevent future drug relapses. Keep reading for more information!

What Is Drug Relapse?

In the medical field, a relapse is a medical regression. It occurs when a condition that has improved starts worsening. Drug relapse is similar. 

During a relapse, past substance use disorder behaviors start arising after a person has been abstinent. Relapse is a bit convoluted since using a legal substance in a controlled, safe manner might not classify as a full relapse. 

An example is a person recovering from alcohol use disorder and having one drink with friends. Some might argue that it is not true abstinence. But if it does not have unhealthy behaviors associated, it might not fall under a relapse classification. 

How Prevalent Is Drug Relapse?

Drug relapse is a very common occurrence, affecting nearly 40% to 75% of individuals within six months after attending a rehabilitation program. Since relapse is quite common, many experts have tried to find some of the root causes of drug relapse. Common factors found in individuals who experienced a drug relapse were:

  • Poor self-confidence
  • Peer pressure
  • Access to drugs
  • Lack of social or familial support

While quality drug and alcohol treatment centers in San Diego help, recovery is an arduous process. Researchers found that it takes approximately eight years for long-term sobriety. The good news is that around 75% of people with a substance use disorder recover. 

Drug Relapse Triggers

Stress is one of the leading causes of relapse. Stressors such as finances or relationships are one area that could lead to a drug relapse. Another contributor is national or global political issues

In recent years, war, illness, and political elections have caused lots of uncertainty and higher levels of anxiety, all of which contribute to the potential of a drug relapse. Some other triggers might be people or places associated with addiction. Additionally, an inability to manage negative emotions or feelings might lead people to seek substances. 

Emotional triggers, such as anxiety or poor self-esteem, are one of the first signs of relapse. Mental relapses often occur when a person starts thinking about using a substance. Finally, physical relapse happens when a substance is finally used. 

How To Recognize Drug Relapse Signs

Obvious signs of drug relapse are the use of a substance that you were abstinent from. However, there are many key signs beforehand that are subtle but important to recognize. 

Isolation and irritability are one of the first signs. During this emotional relapse stage, it is essential that you have a network of supporters you can rely on.

Rather than trying to muddle through it alone, start attending more support groups and reach out for help. Other drug relapse signs can include:

  • Drug cravings
  • Mood changes
  • Denial
  • Impulsivity

During early drug recovery stages, it is crucial to seek a medical detox and/or residential program. Both facilities provide a safe environment, support, and supervision to prevent early relapse. 

Managing Drug Relapses

Despite detox, residential programs, and ongoing treatments, drug relapse can still occur. Managing drug relapses and facilitating long-term recovery is the ultimate goal. 

One of the best ways to manage relapse is through San Diego rehab centers specializing in drug and alcohol abuse. Apex Rehab focuses on several research-based treatments, such as:

  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Dual diagnosis
  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy

Inpatient rehab programs are instrumental since they introduce effective therapies while providing 24/7 supervision. During these early stages, you can work with qualified therapists and counselors on coping strategies that will carry over into the real world. Additionally, attending San Diego rehab centers offers a reprieve from the hectic lifestyle of L.A., helping you or a loved one start on the road to recovery in a peaceful and rehabilitative environment. 

Research-Based Treatments

A San Diego alcohol rehabilitation and drug relapse prevention center focuses on several research-backed treatments, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is an individualized treatment. 

It helps people acknowledge or recognize negative thought patterns. Once negative thoughts are acknowledged, you can begin to see the connection to actions or behaviors. 

CBT focuses on learning how to rework your thought patterns and change behaviors. Studies show that it is extremely helpful for mental health conditions like substance use disorders, depression, and PTSD. 

Finding Rehab Centers in San Diego

Drug relapse is sometimes an unfortunate process of recovery. There are several ways to improve your long-term recovery and sobriety. The first step is attending a high-quality rehab center in San Diego. 

Participating in rehab helps you develop life-long skills and coping mechanisms. These are important tools to have on hand if relapse occurs. Apex Rehab is also an excellent source for support groups and outpatient rehab for long-term recovery. 

Contact us today and find out how you can get help from Apex Rehab!