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Apex Recovery Blog

Breaking the Cycle of Drug Relapse

A man sitting and thinking about drug rehab.

Recovering from addiction is exciting. However, it’s a challenge, especially at first. Relapse is always a possibility at at any given time. 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 is one of the most critical steps. In rehab, you will learn skills that carry over into real-world applications. During this time, you’ll discovery that relapse prevention therapy is key to any successful, long-term recovery.

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 Tenneessee 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 the cycle of relapse is through Tennessee rehab centers specializing in drug and alcohol abuse. Apex Recovery 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. 

Finding Rehab Centers in Tennessee

The cycle of 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 Tennessee. 

Participating in rehab helps you develop life-long skills and coping mechanisms. These are important tools to have on hand if relapse occurs. Apex Recovery is also an excellent source for support groups and outpatient rehab for long-term recovery. Call us today at (877) 881-2689 or contact us online and find out how you can get help.

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