What is a relapse?

A relapse is when an individual returns to a drug (illegal, legal or prescription) after not abusing it for a long period of time. It can be part of the process for an individual striving for long-term sobriety. Even though an individual will want to keep fighting for long-term sobriety, triggers to relapse can often get in the way of this.

Head Thoughts

Why do individuals begin consuming drugs?

Individuals start consuming drugs for the first time for many different reasons. The most popular reasons include:

  • Peer pressure: others around them are taking drugs and pressure them into trying it.
  • Curiosity: individuals want to know what it feels like to be ‘high’ off drugs.
  • To feel good and better in yourself.

Triggers/ relapsing

Triggers and relapsing seem to go hand in hand. Once an individual is sober, it does not mean they are over their addiction. Triggers can cause them to relapse at any given point and sometimes, even if they fight the temptation for a long time, they may not be able to stop in the long run.

Avoiding triggers

Below, we provide you with ways in which an individual should avoid triggers:

  • Try and avoid stressful situations: this is because when someone is stressed, they may turn to drugs as a coping mechanism to help relieve the stress. If you plan your time efficiently you may avoid creating a stressful situation.
  • No negative emotions: someone struggling from an addiction needs to think of things in a positive light – ways in which they can do so include writing a diary etc to get rid of the negative emotions they are feeling without acting on them.
  • Avoid anywhere associated with the past addictive behaviour: often, people relapse if they are caught up in past environments/ people that they were surrounded with whilst taking drugs, try to avoid these situations.
  • Try and avoid any celebrations etc: this is what causes a lot of relapses. Within this setting, many people cannot resist the temptation so by simply not going, there won’t be a temptation in the first place.

New Leaf wants you to know that if you are currently fighting an addiction, or you have relapsed after getting sober, you are not alone and there is help available to support you get back on the right track. Contact our team today on 0300 999 0330 to get the help you need today!