Addiction is a lifelong battle. It’s not something that you can easily throw off with a pill. Relapses are a natural part of addiction and are naturally unavoidable for almost all addicts. In fact, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the relapse rate for drug abuse is anywhere from 40 to 60 percent.
Normally, relapses are just a minor setback, one you should expect and not be discouraged by. However, constant relapse can be truly frustrating and point to more deep-rooted issues. It does not point to any failure, nor does it mean that you’ve forgotten all the knowledge and tools that you gained through detox, rehab programs, and counseling.
Risks factors vary from person to person but can include family history of addiction combined with other internal and external factors. Mood, stress, and depression can contribute to you using drugs again in order to trigger the reward centers in the brain.
The relapse rates are significantly higher in those with existing mental disorders, including anxiety and depression disorders and attention deficit disorder. However, those with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder have a significantly higher chance of relapsing.
Unhappy life events, like losing a job, academic issues, or problems with your spouse, can also lead to relapse. At the same time, even happy events can lead to a relapse. Being at a wedding, party, or restaurant where alcohol is served can be enough to trigger a relapse.
Recovering drug users must develop techniques to:
Simple lifestyle changes, like a healthier diet, exercise, and sleep habits, can help you develop healthy, sober routines.