Time Frame for Relapse during Drug Addiction Recovery

Recovery from drug addiction can be a lifelong process. There is no right or wrong way to recover from months, years or even decades of drug abuse. While relapse is by no means a given, it does happen to many addicts even after attending rehab. What is the average time frame in which an addict may begin to relapse?

There Is No Specific Number

Unfortunately, there is no average time in which an addict may relapse. This is partially because everyone is different when it comes to their recovery from drug addiction and what triggers they may encounter. It is also due to the fact that not much research is done into this subject. Many treatment centers do not keep track of their patients after they leave. If they do, it is only for a short period of time after they leave.

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A Person Can Relapse at Any Time

One of the hard truths about drug addiction is that it is easy to relapse. As an addict never truly overcomes his or her addiction, it only takes one night of drug use to completely undo several months or years of managing the addiction. This is why most addicts only commit to taking it one day at a time when it comes to their recovery. It is also why many addicts need a support system that they can rely on for the rest of their lives.

What Type of Environment Is the Addict In?

An addict who is surrounded by family and friends who don’t do drugs is less likely to relapse than someone who hangs around people who do use drugs or otherwise cannot hold the addict accountable. Another hard truth about drug addiction is that an addict may need to be monitored on an almost constant basis.

It may be necessary to have a sponsor on call at all times or for another person to accompany an addict on a night out or when traveling out of town. Sometimes, this is necessary because an addict may think that he or she is over his or her drug addiction because it has been several months since the last time drugs were used. An addict may not realize that using drugs just one time can lead to a recurrence of drug abuse.

What Caused the Drug Addiction in the First Place?

Those who have naturally addictive personalities may be more at risk for relapsing than other addicts. As much as they would like to control the drug addiction, their chemical makeup naturally causes them to gravitate toward the item that they crave. In some cases, one addiction could be replaced by another addiction. However, those who may have turned to drugs to deal with stress or the loss of a loved one may be able to deal with the root of the issue and reduce the odds of a relapse or developing a secondary addiction.

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There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to when an addict may relapse. As every person is different, they will have a different path from drug addiction to recovery. Therefore, anyone who is thinking about getting help should realize that there is no right or wrong way to recover. Even though relapse is possible, getting help from a trained professional is the first step on the road to a sustained recovery.

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