Why Does An Addict Relapse

Why Does An Addict Relapse

Drug addiction, no doubt, is one of the hardest and the most painful experiences of one’s life. To actually get out of it is a very brave move that not everyone can make so easily.

However, there are certain situations in which a drug addict may go back to their old habits, which is very alarming and bad at the same time.

Many people wonder what those situations are, which causes a drug addict to relapse or get back to his old habits? Or what are those triggering points for a drug addict to relapse?

It is very important to know certain triggers of drug addicts because knowing them, you may be able to prevent an addict from relapse.

This guide is specifically designed to educate you on why drug addicts relapse

To understand the concept of drug relapse, you first need to know what it really is.

Cigarette burning with smoking on ceramic ashtray

What Is Relapse?

In simple words, drug relapse means to get back to using the substance of abuse due to some reason after a period of continuous abstinence.

Drug relapse is a common thing with recovering addicts as compared to those who have long recovered. In fact, it may occur several times for some people who are fighting their addiction.

Drug relapse does not necessarily mean that your treatment or therapy is failed. Addiction is a brain disorder, and recovering from it takes time, times where you can even have your weak moments. Staying sober is a big commitment that people have to make with themselves.

Why Does An Addict Relapse?

Honestly, there are many reasons as to why a drug addict may relapse. It could be many psychological or environmental reasons.

Certain experiences from the past may also cause a person to relapse, people get cravings and urge. Some lie about their progress, as well.

It is very important to know that addiction is a mental disease like all others, and just the way other diseases relapse due to many reasons, it does too. 

People can relapse for a number of reasons; some of the reasons why addicts may relapse are mentioned as below.

1. Relatable Environment

One of the most common reasons why people relapse is that right after recovery, they are pushed back into the environment where they actually started to have drugs.

Right after they come out of therapy, they follow the same pattern they used to when they were addicts. They also live in the same area and face the same issues.

There is no environmental change, which is very much necessary with recovery after addiction. Being in the same environment may pressurize an addict to relapse.

2. A Fragment of Memory

 A Fragment of Memory

Any vision or memory an addict remembers from the past, which may be emotional to them in any way, can cause a relapse.

It can be way too exciting, or way too sad, or even way too fun. This will cause them to reminisce about the old memory and get addicted, especially if the memory is related to drugs.

3. Grief and Depression

Once a recovering addict falls out of therapy, and they are dealing with the loss of a loved one, or they have been dealing with the loss of a loved one for quite some time, they fall into addiction.

Grief has its way of taking an addict back to his addiction. The reason is the coping mechanism of the body. They have to cope with the loss in some way, and what better way for an addict than drugs.

That is why it is important to keep a strict check on addicts when they have lost a loved one and are in recovery.

Depression also plays an important role in relapse; when you are stressed, you need to receive it in some way. If nothing else seems to be working for addicts, they go back to their old ways to deal with that depression, despite their progress.

4. Relationships

If a recovering drug addict is dealing with an abusive or a tough relationship, then he or she can relapse. It is quite common with toxic or tough relationships. We always recommend you do not go hard on your partner if he/she is still battling their addiction. Try to give them as much comfort as possible, so that they do not fall back into their old ways.


The Same Reason Why The Addiction Began

Often, a drug addict, when he or she comes out of rehab, may find themselves caught up in the same problem due to which they started the addiction in the first place.

It is, therefore, very important to remove all triggers out of your way as soon as possible, so that you do not fall back into addiction.

1. The Company They Keep

Addicts may even want to change their company if they recover.

You can not roam around with your friends if they are addicts, because sooner or later you’ll give in to your old habits if you keep yourself surrounded by them. Changing your company after addiction is always a good decision of you had addicted or toxic friends. It does not mean you abandon your friends; you can still be on good terms with them, but hanging out should be no option.

2. Physical Pain

Even though mental pain is a cause of relapse among many recovering addicts, so is physical pain.

A study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence in 2016 that if physical pain is decreased, there is less chance for relapse. This means that if pain increases, chances for relapse increase.

3. Self Loathe

If an addict had a low opinion of themself before their recovery, and they still have the same opinion after they recover, chances are they will fall back into the addiction game and relapse. You should recover from addiction as a self loving individual.

It is very important to identify the trigger points before treatment for addiction and treat the patient accordingly; treating the trigger points may reduce the chances of relapse.

4. Unemployment

Unemployment is among the biggest causes of relapse among addicts. One study published in Current Drug Abuse Reviews in 2011 showed clear results of addicts relapsing after recovery because of unemployment.

Unemployment is also the most leading cause of drug addiction besides relapse.

A Word From The Wise

It is always a good idea to relocate or change your surroundings after you recover from addiction. Be sure to find out job opportunities that interest you. It’s okay to start small. Keep yourself busy in certain activities and also make sure to exercise because it gives the brain the same feeling, like addiction, but in a healthy way.

While being in recovery for addiction. Make sure to get therapy for your trigger points. Be sure to be very open and honest in your therapy because it will provide you positive ruselts. Also, try to build new interests and change your routine as you battle addiction. This will minimize the chances of relapse.