Every year, thousands of individuals seek treatment for a drug addiction. While many of these individuals do very well and go on to live a drug-free life, many more end up with addiction relapse and continue to abuse drugs. It’s useful to understand what relapse really is.
Put simply, addiction relapse is the recurrence of drug use after an individual has undergone treatment for his or her addiction. In most cases, addiction is viewed as a disease. Like other diseases, relapse is part of the process. Relapse can be caused by a number of factors.
A lot of recovering addicts undergo addiction relapse when they’re exposed to various triggers. It’s true that relapse is very common, but it’s not something that is guaranteed to happen.
Although the statistics would have you believe otherwise, many people undergo addiction treatment and never suffer an addiction relapse. There are many tools that individuals can get from treatment, which help to prevent relapse.
Understanding the Cycle
When a person relapses, he or she settles back into a cycle of addiction and compulsive behavior. Addiction relapses do not happen suddenly. In fact, there are several signs that a relapse is coming. There are three major stages of relapse, and these are physical, mental and emotional.
Many recovering addicts experience emotional relapse several months before they actually start using drugs again. This is important to understand because it means there is a significant amount of time that can be used to prevent the relapse.
In reality, the relapse process is usually quite painful and long. Some signs of an impending addiction relapse include isolation from activities and groups, mood swings, unhealthy behaviors, compulsive behavior and destructive thoughts.
Most people would be surprised to learn just how insidious the relapse process can be; it can attack an individual when he or she least expects it.
What Is The Typical Addiction Relapse Time frame For Illegal Substances?
The typical relapse time frame is slightly different for each illegal substance. For example, there is an 85 percent chance that an opiate addict will relapse. While a very specific relapse time frame would be useful, the data is far more complicated.
Most addiction relapse rates are reported for individual substances, and the data is based on both treated and non-treated individuals. After considering the wide range of treatments available, the data becomes even less reliable.
Recent studies show that 80 percent of alcoholics are likely to relapse within the first year after treatment. After two years, the odds of a relapse drop further.
There are some general relapse statistics. It doesn’t matter what illegal substance is used; 75 percent of individuals are likely to relapse within the first three months after treatment. Situational and cognitive factors are very important for determining addiction relapse rates for any given substance. It’s possible to find general relapse averages, but they aren’t nearly as important as a person’s individual risk of relapse.
New Brain Research
A number of scientists are paving the way for new brain research, which can be used to analyze a person’s individual risk of relapse. Researchers are able to gather this information through analyzing the amount of grey matter in certain parts of the brain.
There are programs created to increase the amount of grey matter in a person’s brain, and these programs can progressively reduce a person’s odds of relapsing.
One of the best tools to increase grey matter in the brain is called mindfulness, which is becoming a popular part of many drug treatment centers. There is no doubt that general time frames for addiction relapse are very helpful. If you or someone you know have an addiction, seek help right away.