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It is said that 85 percent of addicts go through relapse within the first year. Relapse is when the abuser goes back to the drugs that they are trying to escape. It is a dangerous proposition, as it massively increases the chance of being afflicted with an overdose.

The reasons people relapse are their own. The triggers can be anything from a traumatic experience to intense physical craving. Regardless, there are extreme consequences for making this decision. We will be going through different situations in this article.

Woman Who is sad bc she relapsed on drugs

What Are The Reasons for a Relapse?

Emotional and physical triggers can fall into a variety of different situations. While the triggers may not make sense to you, each person has a different thing that reminds them of drugs. These can be simplistic or complicated, depending on the person. We will go through a few examples.

Old Friends

Visiting old friends associated with the life you used to live can be a strong trigger. You may associate these friends with a lot of good memories. Bringing you back to the good feelings associated with the drugs. You may decide to grab a beer for old-times sake, which is something you will want to avoid.

Old Places

If your parents were those involved abusing drugs or alcohol, revisiting your childhood home may encourage you to drink. These can be good or bad feelings that promote this behavior. People often use alcohol or drugs as an escape from their daily lives. It can be a house, a neighborhood, or a town.

Negative Emotions

Being angry, sad, or frustrated can lead you to want to escape that feeling. In the past, you may have used drugs or alcohol to avoid the feeling before. It is only natural to crave that escape again. This reminds us of the importance of finding healthy coping mechanisms.  We will get into more details regarding potential fixes later.


If life is overwhelming for you, it is a lot more appealing to go to something that you find as a comfortable escape. Given that addiction falls into this category, it becomes a slippery slope. Whether you are behind on bills, dealing with divorce, or facing test anxiety in college, stress varies on the person. A person’s tolerance for stress can vary massively. It is crucial to appreciate that each person has their own stressors. Do not take away someone’s right to feel the pressure.

Going To Parties

Going to celebrations are an excellent way for anyone to let go and relax. But that relaxation can lead to you falling lax on your requirements. Peer pressure is a real issue, even in adulthood. Telling yourself that you are abstaining from alcohol when everyone else is drinking is hard. You may find yourself wanting to leave as a result of this. Good friends will understand and respect your needs.

What Are Consequences of Relapsing?

As expected, relapsing back into drugs will bring you back to square one. As a result, there are a few unique issues that come with relapse. While in a recovery program, relapse rates can vary from 40 to 60 percent.

A Fragile Emotional State

Those who have been through relapse are more likely to go back into decline. People may tell themselves that “it doesn’t matter.” They may see failure as the only option. This is a dangerous mindset to take on, as it tends to be a drain on everything else. Your physical health and your relationships will be strained again.

Going Through Treatment Again

If you enjoyed treatment the first time around, you aren’t likely to appreciate it the second time. Your body will try harder to keep its chemical dependence. The symptoms of this will vary depending upon your drug of choice. Consult a doctor for individual details.

Higher Chance of Overdosing

People who relapse will want to go harder upon their return. Relapse puts people in a vulnerable emotional state, so they may go through drastic measures. Also, depending on how long you spent away from the drugs, your body has dropped some tolerance. As a result, you may not be able to handle the same level that you are used to.

What Are Some Signs of a Relapse?

If you have a friend that is going through a rehabilitation program, it is vital to keep an eye on him. Below are some potential signs of him going through a relapse.

  • Emotional isolation
  • Poor eating, sleeping, and hygiene habits
  • Expressing the “good old days” of drug abuse
  • Expressing it was “just one time.”
  • Denial
  • Not sharing during self-help meetings

Preventing a Relapse

Now that we know many of the negative signs of relapse, it is essential to be aware of how to prevent this. If this is your second time trying to quit the drug, do not get discouraged.

It is entirely reasonable for people to go back to their old vices. Below are some ways to avoid making a second or third return to these vices.

  • Having a long-term plan to quit
  • Going to self-help groups
  • Having open communication with friends and family
  • Avoiding triggers
  • Self-care


Returning to your old vices can have anywhere between a 40 to an 85 percent chance depending on the source you trust. Regardless of which source you believe, the numbers are staggeringly high.

This is common, as people who are stuck with this kind of vice have to overcome physical and psychological dependencies. Many triggers can cause it.

It is vital to keep an eye open on the potential symptoms and consequences. It is important to not consider relapse to be a failure. It must be used to improve yourself, not as a way to bring yourself down.