Relapse takes place when an individual return to substance abuse sequel to a period of total abstinence. This is the most regular setback which addicts experience when recovering from addiction. As a matter of fact, there are lots of persons who experience relapse more than once in their lifetime.

Becoming sober is a gradual process, as it involves lots of time, commitment and practice. When relapse sets in, it does not imply that the treatment process has failed, it only means that the individual is still susceptible to various triggers and cravings.

Addiction is a disorder of the brain which makes people to indulge in obsessive and compulsive drug use, while still being aware of the fact that there are dire social, physical and legal consequences. People who recover from this disease could return to alcohol or drug use. There are lots of contributing factors to relapse, however, recovery in the long term is possible for those who are committed to living sober and healthy lives.

One of the major factors which causes relapse, is Triggers. This refers to feelings, thoughts, sensations, relationships and situations which makes a person use drugs or drink after abstaining from it for a long while. For instance, walking past a bar could trigger cravings in a previous alcohol addict.

Other factors which lead to relapse are listed below:

  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Physical pain
  • Dishonesty
  • Self-pity
  • Unemployment
  • Stress


As mentioned above, recovery is a gradual process which cannot be rushed because of the peculiarity of the case. Hence, after addiction treatment, the individual might still be required to stay within the facility for a while. Even after being released from the facility, there should be a scheduled program wherein he would have to check back from time to time, so that his progress can be evaluated.

In addition, family and friends are also required to look out for their loved ones who are out of recovery, they should talk to the therapist to list certain factors which could induce triggers, and take it out of the way of their recovering family member.

Leave a Reply