Relapse is a common occurrence among those in recovery from alcohol or drug abuse. According to drug relapse statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 40 to 60 percent of people experience a recurrence of symptoms at least once after treatment for drug addiction. This drug relapse rate is similar to the relapse rates for other chronic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma. Furthermore, for those in recovery from alcoholism, the relapse rate may be as high as 90 percent.
What Is Relapse?
Relapse is a return to drug or alcohol use following successful treatment. Moreover, relapse may occur at any point in recovery. Therefore, relapse is an indication that an individual needs to start treatment again or try another approach to treatment. Additionally, chronic relapse is when an individual experiences a repetitive cycle of getting clean, relapsing, and going back into treatment.
Overdosing is one of the greatest dangers of relapse. This is because a person in recovery is no longer able to tolerate the amount of drugs or alcohol they used to consume. Consequently, if they drink or use as much as they did before quitting, they can overdose more easily.
Avoiding relapse may require ongoing or intermittent substance abuse or alcoholism treatment. Today, relapse is seen through a positive lens, as an opportunity to learn more strategies for identifying triggers and addressing the root causes of alcohol and substance abuse. Furthermore, studies show that the likelihood of relapse goes down when individuals have better coping skills and social support networks.
Sources: National Institute on Drug Abuse