The Recovering Addict Who Relapses: What Next?

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What remains in diseases after the crisis is apt to produce relapses.”

– Hippocrates, “Aphorisms”

Hippocrates was a pretty astute physician for one who lived so long ago, wasn’t he? Written around 400-450 BC, the above quote about relapsing diseases could easily describe the power of substance addiction over those in recovery and their constant fight to stay abstinent, clean, and sober.

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We have organizations such as the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). They state that although addiction is treatable (like diseases such as diabetes), there is no magic pill that actually obliterates the illness from the mind and body of an addict; there exists the potential for future relapses back into substance abuse.

Every disease can have a backslide, a relapse, in its treatment, where a patient under treatment begins to become ill again. Managing such events successfully should be an important part of the patient’s treatment plan.

Substance Use Disorder (SUD) – or alcohol – Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) – is medically defined as a chronic disease, and relapses occur when the recovering addict begins to use their drug of choice, e.g., heroin, OxyContin, or whisky, once again. Although deterioration is considered part of the spectrum of recovery, more and more is being done to prevent it.

Because of the nature of addiction, an important part of its treatment is identifying certain behaviors during the abuse and changing those behaviors for far healthier ones. Relapse becomes significantly more likely if the identified behaviors are not radically altered.

Following any kind of relapse, regardless of its gravity, the best action is to seek the family doctor’s advice, an addiction treatment specialist, or another medical professional who can either ressignificantly modify the previous treatment. This is exactly what happens when a diabetic sees a spike in glucose levels – treatment modification will then be prescribed.

 drug and alcohol addiction. Because of this, all professional addiction treatment programs will have a relapse prevention plan built into them. Having such a plan will ensure that the recovery process, although impacted, is not completely derailed.

All relapse prevention plans are tailored to the specific needs and circumstances of the individual concerned. According to a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), peer-based support groups – a group that helps people navigate the different phases of recovery – can help ensure ials who relapse can move beyond the relapse itself and continue their necessarrecovery y treatment.

Furthermore, recovering addicts can access a wide range of therapies and rehabilitation tools designed to address the existence, and possible daily presence, of cravings that can lead to a relapse. With their treatment plan making alternatives available and focusing on specialized programming, patients struggling with the recovery process can make it through any possible relapses.

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