What Is the Most Common Cause of a Relapse?

Young woman pondering the determinants of a relapse

Even after someone has completed addiction treatment and returned home, maintaining recovery can be a constant challenge. Adapting to a new lifestyle free of substances isn’t easy and requires effort and dedication. Individuals often face new obstacles as they transition to life after treatment. During this stage of recovery, the risk of relapse is high. The determinants of a relapse need to be understood for recovery to be successful.

At Northpoint Nebraska, we take an integrated approach to addiction and mental health treatment to help patients heal fully and achieve lasting recovery. We offer various inpatient programs that help those in treatment learn coping techniques to help them deal with triggers and adjust to a new sober lifestyle. Participating in our relapse prevention program can help prepare patients to maintain lifelong recovery.

What Is a Relapse?

A relapse is when someone in addiction recovery uses drugs or alcohol again. Even one-time use is considered a relapse. While this doesn’t mean someone must start from the beginning of their recovery, any type of relapse should be taken seriously. When an individual in recovery relapses, it can be a significant setback for their health and well-being. Knowing and recognizing the signs of a relapse can help those in recovery or their loved ones identify if there is a problem.

Some of the common signs of relapse are:

  • Mood swings
  • Poor self-care
  • Isolating from friends and family
  • Minimizing the consequences of substance abuse
  • Not attending therapy or treatment programs
  • Idealizing past drug or alcohol use
  • Sudden changes in behavior
  • Doubting the recovery process

When a relapse does occur, it can be difficult for a person to get back on the path to recovery. Using one time can result in cravings and the urge to continue abusing substances. A relapse prevention program can provide education, resources, and guidance to help patients avoid this kind of setback. Creating an aftercare plan helps individuals better navigate their life after treatment and lowers the risk of relapse. Patients learn the tools and skills they need to maintain long-term sobriety and wellness.

The Most Common Cause of a Relapse

Relapses are not an uncommon occurrence, and there are a variety of situations and events that can cause one. Each patient has unique experiences with addiction, which will influence their triggers. While everyone is different, there are common determinants of a relapse that those in recovery should learn about.

Some common causes of relapse are:

  • Being around drugs or alcohol
  • Environmental or social pressure
  • Overconfidence in their recovery
  • Isolation
  • Boredom

Each of these can trigger a relapse, but there are two considered to be the most common cause of relapse. The first is depression, which is often linked to addiction because those struggling with poor mental health may self-medicate with substances, and substance abuse can lead to depression. When an individual struggles with depression, they may relapse to cope with negative emotions.

One of the determinants of a relapse is stress. When a person in recovery is under pressure from work, finances, or family responsibilities, they may resort to substances to deal with it. Understanding the most common cause of a relapse is beneficial because individuals can design a comprehensive plan to cope with negative emotions and stress in ways that don’t put their sobriety at risk.

Learn More About Our Relapse Prevention Program at Northpoint Nebraska

A relapse prevention program assists patients with their aftercare planning and prepares them to transition back to their regular lives. We know that individuals put a lot of time and energy into becoming sober and healing from addiction side effects. Our relapse prevention program prepares individuals for a new sober lifestyle that maintains their health and well-being. To learn more about addiction treatment and relapse prevention, contact our staff at 888.351.3834.