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When Drug Addicts Relapse

Drug addiction is a major issue but what happens when drug addicts relapse? Sadly, relapse rates for individuals who want to recover from a drug are quite high.  Studies show that about 40-60% of individuals relapse within 30 days of leaving the drug. Also 85% of individuals in an inpatient drug and alcohol treatment center relapse within the first year.

Drug recovery patients need to acknowledge the high risk for relapse. Patients also need to monitor their triggers and learn to manage their triggers. A thorough understanding of common risks for addiction relapse gives individuals the strength to maintain their recovery.  Here are several things that happen when drug addicts relapse.


Most individuals relapse within the first week of quitting substance use. Drug addicts will experience different levels of withdrawal symptoms after quitting drugs. Depending on drug type, quantity, and duration of use, withdrawal symptoms will vary. Some common physiological withdrawal symptoms include nausea, discomfort, nausea, diarrhea, and insomnia. 

Withdrawal from drugs such as benzodiazepines can even cause deadly seizures. Therefore, doctors recommend that individuals should avoid using such drugs. Medical detox can safely remove these substances from your system.

  • Mental Health

Drug addiction is an issue but there is also a problem beneath substance dependence.  Failing to address the underlying issues and stopping substance use won’t lead to any progress. Usually, there are hidden mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress.

Individuals who receive proper drug addiction treatment will need therapists, to handle underlying mental health issues.  As with drug addiction, mental health issues need long-term attention for recovery. If you fail to address mental health issues it can trigger an alcohol or drug relapse. Usually, when drug addicts relapse, they don’t experience psychological issues such as depression. Guidance from mental health professionals can make individuals live a thriving life.

  • People

Drug addicts usually surround themselves with like-minded individuals who also enjoy drugging.  Being around drugs addicts when undergoing recovery can trigger a relapse. The recovery process requires individuals to set healthy boundaries with people who use drugs. There’s a point in your recovery where you can enjoy social gatherings with people who consume drugs.

However, this usually takes time and effort. Recovery patients should not intentionally surround themselves with drug addicts. However, if you have a stable foundation in their recovery, this is possible. Recovery patients also need to have trustworthy friends when surrounding themselves with drug addicts. 

  • Poor Self-Care

Self-care plays a role in addiction recovery. Proper self-care brings self-confidence makes you feel better about yourself. If you don’t take care of yourself, then your mind cares about your well-being and can trigger a relapse. When drug addicts relapse, they begin to eat an unhealthy diet that may result in poor physiological. Poor diets can also influence neurological health which leads to low mood and drug cravings.

Bottom line

Drug recovery is an essential step to safety but sometimes something can trigger the individual to relapse. When drug addicts relapse, it may be difficult to go back to a recovery mood. Therefore, drug addicts need to live healthy life when recovering. Eat healthily, exercise, meditate and engage in self-care behaviours that support mental wellness and addiction recovery.