Episode 70: The Solutions: Real Life Reasons People With Addiction Relapse Part 2

Jun 3, 2019

This Episode

You Will Learn

  • What are the differences between a lapse/ slip and relapse/return to using?
  • Solutions that work
  • H.A.L.T.
  • Emotions
  • Stress
  • False Confidence over humility
  • Physical and Mental health
  • Social isolation
  • The good stuff of life

Resources & Links

Episode 70: The Solutions: Real Life Reasons People With Addiction Relapse Part 2

(of someone suffering from a disease) suffer deterioration after a period of improvement.
synonyms: get ill/worse again, have/suffer a relapse, worsen, deteriorate, degenerate, take a turn for the worse, sicken, weaken, fail, sink
“Although most children remain well after this procedure, a few relapses”
a deterioration in someone’s state of health after a temporary improvement.
“he responded well to treatment, but then suffered a relapse”
synonyms: deterioration, worsening of someone’s condition, turn for the worse, setback, weakening;

What Is Relapse?

Like any other chronic condition, relapse refers to the recurrence of any disease that has already gone into recovery. And just like in a recurring heart or lung condition, not all drug relapses are created equal. In most cases, a relapse falls into one of two categories:

A “Slip”

Slips refer to the times recovering people partake in a small amount of a substance and then stop. Slips include taking a sip of wine at a wedding toast, or a drag from a joint when one is passed their way. Most people would hardly count these incidents as hard drug use, but it’s important for recovering addicts to acknowledge these slip-ups and take steps to prevent them from happening again. After a period of abstinence, even just a small amount of an illicit substance can revitalize cravings for harder drug use.

Full Relapse

Relapses occur when people purposely seek out drug use. It can be one session or a full binge, but as long as they return to their recovery, it’s considered a relapse. If they do not, it’s regarded as a relapse that triggered a return to full-blown use.

There is sometimes a perception that addiction is something that either exists in a person’s character or does not. This idea can lead to a belief that a person who is struggling with addiction to a substance may have had one drink or tried an illicit drug one time and immediately became addicted. However, the reality is a bit more complex than that.


As defined by the American Society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is a chronic brain disease that affects the brain’s reward, pleasure, memory, and motivation. Like many chronic diseases, it does not just spring up one day. Often, several circumstances line up that, over time, cause a person who would otherwise enjoy casual drinking or avoid substance abuse to become addicted to drugs or alcohol. The process of developing an addiction, in this case, tends to occur over a series of stages and, like other chronic illnesses, often turns into a cycle of addiction, treatment or abstinence, and relapse.

The multiple stages of addiction can occur over a short period of time, or they can take months or even years to develop. A person who has only occasionally had a casual drink may, over years, develop a habit that can turn to alcoholism.

Enjoy!  xoxo Lynn

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