If you find yourself unable to stop using the substance of your choice after a relapse, it's important to seek professional help. Relapsing after attending treatment does not mean that the treatment has failed. Just like other chronic illnesses, relapses during addiction may simply indicate that you need to start treatment again or adjust the current course of your recovery plan. Renewing participation in a treatment program can help you stop using drugs or alcohol again and reduce the risk of future relapses.
Unfortunately, there is a strong stigma attached to addiction and relapse. It can be difficult for someone who isn't addicted or doesn't have an addicted loved one in their life to truly understand addiction. A relapse is defined as the worsening of a clinical condition that had previously improved. In addiction treatment, relapse is the resumption of substance use after an attempt to stop using or a period of abstinence.
For example, a person who returns to drug use after months in rehab would be considered to have relapsed. Substance abuse alters brain function, and many things can trigger drug cravings in the brain. It is essential that people undergoing treatment, especially those receiving treatment in drug rehabilitation programs, learn to recognize, avoid, and cope with the triggers they are likely to be exposed to after treatment. While relapse may be common, seeking support for addiction recovery can make the difference between sobriety and experiencing a relapse.