Understanding the Addiction Relapse Process

Don't Lose Hope

“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” – Margaret Thatcher

Relapse is common when we’re fighting an addiction. It’s something many deal with on their journey to success. And relapsing is a process that’s predictable and patterned; and recognizing this can help us read the warning signs. That is, we often make decisions which can seem inconsequential … and yet they slowly move us towards a full relapse.

Think of the relapse chain as a chain of decisions – made over a period of days, weeks, months, or even years- that together add up to a backsliding in one’s recovery. This makes it hard to say exactly where any one relapse begins.[1]

So what are the steps that often lead to relapse? The following links make up the relapse chain:

  1. The recovering individual experiences a build-up of stress (related, for example…

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