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You are not defined by your drug and alcohol addiction relapse but your decision to remain in recovery despite them.

drug and alcohol addiction relapse

Many leave treatment in fear of relapse while others believe they won’t be affected. Needless to say, relapse is something many in recovery struggle with. The road to relapse is sometimes quick meanwhile for some it’s slow and painful.

In order to best assist you during your recovery Inspirations has created a list explaining the relapse process. Be wary for these signs as they are telltale signals that a relapse can take place.

Drug and Alcohol Addiction Relapse:

1.The Build Up

Relapse begins with the build up of stressful emotions and circumstances. For some, the immediate stress can cause them to slip back into drug abuse. However, for others, it becomes a situation that builds up the feelings of impatience and frustration. Harboring such unresolved feelings become a key trigger in drug and alcohol addiction relapse.

drug and alcohol addiction relapse overreaction2.Emotional Overreaction

With the stress building up and no real outlet, many in recovery find themselves overreacting emotionally. At this stage, you begin to feel overwhelmed and often have difficulty controlling your emotions. This lack of control often leads to emotional outbursts.


At the dismay of being unable to control your emotions, the stage of denial begins to follow. You pretend that everything is “okay” and that you are in control. At this point, many people cannot even fathom reaching out for help or support. In order to continue believing you are in control you may begin giving yourself and others excuses as to why you have lost control. Eventually, you begin to lie in order to feel you are in control of your emotions, cravings and the situation.
drug and alcohol addiction relapse isolation


In order to feel more in control or not to get caught in your lies, you begin to isolate yourself. You stop meeting friends, talking to family and interacting with others. Isolation leads to an increase in dishonesty and shame. These overwhelming emotions are also more likely turn into hopelessness and self-pity.

5.Self Sabotage

As you begin to feel more hopeless you may start taking high risks in order to “find yourself” again. Engaging in dangerous behavior is a major sign that relapse is close to happening. As you begin to take refuge in risky situations you also give into your addictive craving and urges.


Eventually, the thought of “just once” crosses your mind and you indulge in using to escape your problems or emotions. Once you realized that you have succumbed to your cravings you begin to feel an overall feeling of failure and despair. You become frustrated you have come this far only to do the same things again.

However, it is important to remember that just like like life recovery is not perfect. If you begin to relapse instead of falling right back into your addiction make the necessary changes to get help.

If you or a teen you know are suffering from a relapse Inspirations can help. Reach out to our teen drug abuse hotline at (855) 627-6237 for more information.

How does drug and alcohol addiction relapse happen
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