Why Do I Keep Using? Understanding Relapse and Relapse Prevention
When someone starts using drugs or alcohol again after quitting or undergoing treatment, it is called relapse. Relapse is an unfortunate part of drug addiction and is a highly probable possibility. Most people find themselves in a relapse situation even after they undergo treatment for their addiction.
Drug addiction is a chronic disease and like many other chronic diseases it is likely that symptoms will reoccur. When this happens, most people need to seek additional treatment or relapse prevention help.
What Are the Chances of Relapse?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the chances of relapsing back into addiction are around the same as any other disease. Asthma, heart disease, and diabetes all have about the same rate of relapse as drug or alcohol addiction.
Due to its chronic nature, most people will eventually experience some form of relapse. If you feel as if you are going to relapse, we can help; call 800-895-1695.
Why Do People Relapse?
There are many reasons why people wind up relapsing back into drug addiction. Some of these reasons are:
- Overwhelming cravings
- Leaving treatment too soon
- Poor aftercare
- Not dealing with triggers
- Poor coping skills
Fortunately, these reasons for relapse are easy to prevent with the correct treatment program for your addiction.
How Do You Prevent Relapse?
Preventing relapse involves knowing what relapse is and how it feels. Many people fail to notice the signs of relapse until it is too late and they are already using. Fortunately, it is never too late to seek treatment for drug addiction. Knowing the steps to relapse can show you when to seek help.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcohol Addiction, the steps to relapse are:
- Finding yourself in a high risk situation
- Having ineffective coping skills
- Decreased belief in a positive outcome
- Use of the substance
- Perceived positive effects of the substances
Although these steps vary, most people who relapse go through a form of them. Knowing these steps can help you identify where in the process you are and help you know when you need to seek treatment.
Learning Effective Coping Skills
Your chance of relapse decreases when you stay in treatment long enough to learn effective coping skills. Once you know how to deal with things such as triggers and temptation, you will be able to prevent relapse or seek treatment when it becomes necessary.
By believing that you will not relapse and having a positive attitude about your recovery, you can decrease your chances of relapse. Self-efficacy is believing you can recover and will not relapse. Although this belief alone will not completely prevent relapse, treatment, relapse prevention techniques, and knowing when to find help does.
Although addicts often relapse, it is not inevitable. If you seek treatment at the first signs of relapse, you can prevent it. To find treatment that will work for you, call 800-895-1695. We can help.