Drug and alcohol addiction is a disease with clear symptoms and viable treatments. And, just like any other medical condition, the disease of addiction can have flare-ups or what is known in recovery as relapse. Relapse isn’t a failure on the part of the recovering person, nor is it an indication that your addiction treatment program has failed. While relapse is a part of recovery, the reality is that you don’t have to relapse as you transition from active addiction into lasting recovery. Crestview Recovery is here for you at every step of the way.
What Is a Relapse?
Relapse and recovery can be mutually beneficial. In other words, a relapse can give insight into adjustments that are needed in the addiction treatment plan. Likewise, the positive benefits of living life clean and sober can be a strong deterrent to picking up that first drink or drug during recovery. Recovering individuals will face numerous challenges. And one of those difficulties is staying clear of people, places, or things that may start the recovering person down the path towards a relapse.
While there is no standard definition of a relapse, it typically occurs in well-defined stages that may occur in any order:
- Emotional relapse: increased negative feelings such as irritability, depression, or loneliness that causes the individual to isolate
- Mental relapse: increased thoughts of using and rationalizing dangerous behaviors such as going into bars or hanging with former using friends
- Physical relapse: strong physical urges to use drugs or alcohol that may indicate the need to return to rehab
If a recovering person is experiencing any of these stages of relapse after attending a drug addiction treatment program, it doesn’t mean that relapse is inevitable. It does mean they need to strengthen their community support, talk about emotional issues, and steer clear of those people, places, or things that would allow them to pick up.
Warning Signs of Relapse
- Sudden changes in behavior or emotions
- Positive thoughts about drug use or drinking
- Elevated stress levels due to relationships, finances, or work
- Withdrawal symptoms reoccur, such as cravings and obsessive thoughts
- Social isolation from sober support groups, family, and friends
- Loss of clear, rational thinking
Relapse & Recovery in Portland, Oregon
A big part of relapse and recovery is redefining the addicts’ notion of fun and reinforcing new coping skills to deal with difficult emotional, mental, or physical triggers. No longer can the addict revel in friendships of the past that supported destructive drinking or drug-using behaviors. Instead, the recovering person creates a network of supportive recovering or sober individuals along with friends and family members that avoid enabling behaviors. People in recovery can avoid relapse with continuous treatment for the disease of addiction.
It would be a mistake to miss out on exciting life experiences while recovering from drugs and/or alcohol. But, to avoid a relapse, the newly sober person (those within their first year of sobriety) should carefully choose the events they attend and plan accordingly if alcohol may be served.
Portland’s Choice for Alcohol & Drug Treatment
Visit us at Crestview Recovery, a drug rehab center located in Portland, Oregon, for men and women over 18 years old. We specialize in all types of rehab programs, including extended care, 90-day drug rehab programs, individual and group therapy, and dual diagnosis therapy for those recovering persons who are also diagnosed with mental health challenges.
At Crestview Recovery, we agree that a part of recovery is learning new ways to have fun and embrace all the goodness that life has to offer. Located in and serving individuals and families in the Pacific Northwest, we offer unique amenities such as skiing, white water rafting, and snowboarding to emphasize self-care and the importance of having fun. Contact us today at 866.262.0531.