If you’ve been struggling with fighting feelings of going back to using drugs, you’re not alone. This is why understanding the causes of relapse is important. It doesn’t matter whether you’re at a reputable Denver detox center or a community rehab center. Relapsing can happen to anyone. Keep reading to find out more.
What is a Relapse?
Let’s say that you’ve committed to stopping alcohol or drugs. Then suddenly, you find yourself back to using them again. This is the simplest definition of what a relapse is. If you’ve been using highly addictive substances, it’s easy for you to relapse even when you don’t intend to. The thing is, the substances that you’ve been using can end up changing your brain’s structure. This means that your brain can end up relying on these substances. Making it difficult for you to carry on with your life without depending on them.
However, there’s a difference between a lapse and your relapse. The former refers to that slip that happens when you take a sip of your favorite drink and then leave it alone. But the latter is more serious. When you relapse, you choose to go back full-time to using your drugs and related substances.
What are the Types of Relapses?
You’d be surprised to find that relapses have different types. The following are the different types of relapses that you can find.
- Traditional relapse. This is when you decide to stop your recovery and go back to using your drugs.
- Freelapse. This is when you don’t plan on using drugs, but you find yourself using them anyway.
Knowing the types of relapses is important. It can help you to get through the feelings of guilt that you might associate with your relapse, especially if it wasn’t intentional. For instance, if you’re at a party and your friend, Tim, passes you a drink. You drink it while under the impression that it’s non-alcoholic. When you find that you’ve unintentionally relapsed, you can find yourself going through the following stages.
- An emotional stage
- A mental relapse stage
- The physical relapse stage
Risk Factors of Relapsing
Various factors can affect your recovery journey and make you relapse even when you thought you wouldn’t. Some of these common risk factors include, but aren’t limited to the following.
- Exposure to your triggers such as social or environmental cues that cause you to have intense cravings for your drug of choice.
- Stress levels, especially if you’re used to using substances to cope with your stress levels.
- Conflict with your loved ones. When you don’t manage these interpersonal problems, they can motivate you to use drugs all over again.
- Sometimes, your loved ones can pressure you to use drugs even when you’re trying to stop.
- Medical issues that leave you dependent on strong pain medication.
- Positive moods from any celebrations in your life.
The Bottom Line
If you’ve found yourself in a situation that causes you to relapse, it’s important to have someone to talk to. Reaching out for help is the best thing that you can do for yourself. Moreover, it should help you to avoid any more triggers in your life. It’s also important for you to reflect on what could’ve caused you to relapse.