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How to Overcome Relapse in Drug Addiction Recovery
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How to Overcome Relapse in Drug Addiction Recovery

There’s a lot of misinformation out there about relapse. 

When people talk about drug addiction recovery, they often assume that relapse is something you can’t recover from or that it will stop you from ever being truly sober again. 

But the truth is that relapse does happen—a lot—and it can be an important part of the recovery process. 

Relapse doesn’t mean that you’ve failed; it means that you need to try again and do things differently next time around so that your recovery has a better chance of sticking. 

Here are some tips for overcoming relapse:

1. Understand that relapse is part of the recovery process.

Relapse is a normal part of the recovery process and can happen to anyone. It’s important to understand that relapse is not a reflection of failure but rather an opportunity for growth and learning.

You may have felt like you were making progress in your recovery when suddenly something happened that triggered you back into using drugs or alcohol again. 

This could be anything from seeing someone who used drugs with you before, having a fight with your family member or friend over something unrelated to drugs or alcohol (and thus triggering feelings), or even just having too much stress. 

2. Focus on living a healthy, balanced life.

You may have a few ideas of what living a healthy and balanced life means to you. 

For some people, this might mean eating primarily organic foods and exercising regularly. For others, it could mean spending time with friends and family in activities that are meaningful to them. 

Whatever your definition of “healthy” is, the important thing is that it fits your individual needs as well as those of your loved ones. If something doesn’t work for everyone involved–yourself included–then there’s no point in forcing it upon yourself or anyone else.

To help get back on track after relapse has occurred, try introducing one new healthy habit at a time into your routine until they’ve become part of who you are again:

  • Get enough sleep each night (7-8 hours)
  • Eat plenty of fruits & vegetables every day (5+ servings per day)
  • Fit in physical activity and fresh air at least once a day.

3. Learn to manage triggers and cravings.

It’s important to learn how to manage triggers and cravings

Triggers are what cause you to use drugs. They can be physical or emotional, but they always lead back to using drugs if you don’t deal with them in some way. 

Cravings are the intense desire for a substance that makes you want it more than anything else in the world–and sometimes even more than food or water! If left unaddressed, cravings will lead straight back into addiction territory.

It’s helpful for recovering addicts not only to identify their own triggers and cravings but also to work on managing them so they don’t fall into old patterns of behavior when faced with those stimuli again down the line.

4. Don’t try to do it alone.

If you are struggling with drug addiction or if you have a loved one who is in recovery, it is important to understand that relapse can occur. 

It is not something to be afraid of because it will happen repeatedly until the individual is ready to get help and stay sober.

Relapse happens when an addict stops fighting their disease long enough for their cravings to take over again. 

When this happens, they will look for ways to satisfy those cravings without getting caught by family members or friends who are unaware of their condition. 

The first step toward overcoming relapse is admitting that there’s a problem in your life–and sometimes, even then, it takes more than one attempt before people realize what’s going on.

5. Get professional help if you need it.

If you’re struggling with relapse, it’s important to know that you are not alone. In fact, relapse is common among people who are recovering from drug addiction. 

The good news is that there are ways to prevent relapse and get back on track with your recovery program. If you feel like relapsing again or if you’ve already relapsed once before, talk to someone about how they can help. 

A therapist or counselor can help guide them through the process of overcoming their addiction by teaching them skills like:

  • how to handle cravings and urges;
  • how not to isolate themselves from friends and family;
  • what healthy ways exist for coping with stressors in life (e.g., exercise).


Relapse is a part of recovery, but that doesn’t mean it’s something to be afraid of. 

The best thing you can do is learn how to manage your triggers and cravings so that they don’t lead you back down the path of addiction. If you find yourself in need of professional help, don’t hesitate–seek out treatment immediately! There is help if you are in need of drug rehab in LA.

Sara Benz
Hello, I'm Sara Benz, and I'm a certified Health & Beauty blog writer, and I've completed my master's degree from a US university, and I have 3 years of experience writing blog posts. I write on topics including Health & Beauty. My work has been published by various websites such as TechUp99.com, AffairView.com, WikiVice.com, and more.