Get Help Now - Confidential & Free Phone icon800-671-4304
Info iconWho Answers?


Unfortunately, relapse is a serious concern for individuals seeking addiction treatment, especially those who have just gone through or are currently going through detox. However, there are ways you can help prevent the possibility of relapse and make sure that you can safely recover from your substance use disorder. Call 800-996-6135(Who Answers?) now to find safe treatment centers where you can begin your individualized journey of recovery.

How Often Does Relapse Occur?

Addiction is a chronic disease, which means it is not usually cured quickly or sometimes at all, and that people who suffer from it are often at risk of relapse for a long time, even after seeking treatment. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Relapse rates for addiction resemble those of other chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma.” While relapse is a serious concern for those going through recovery, there are still ways you can avoid this potential effect.

Learn more about relapse and effective treatment options by calling our helpline.

Who Answers?

Seek Detox and Addiction Treatment


Addiction is a chronic relapsing disease that requires ongoing care.

When you choose to begin your recovery program with detox, you will be able to put an end to the dependence you have on dangerous substances of abuse, allowing you to avoid severe withdrawal symptoms and cravings for the drug. Still, addiction treatment must be attended as a follow-up to detox.

According to the National Library of Medicine, the biggest complication associated with opioid withdrawal is relapse. “Most opiate overdose deaths occur in people who have just detoxed.” This is also true for many other types of drugs. It occurs because detox treats one’s dependency but not their addiction syndrome. Detox also diminishes a patient’s tolerance to their drug of choice, so if they do relapse, they are more likely to overdose.

Seeking detox and addiction treatment as part of a well-rounded rehab program will allow you to build up a strong defense against relapse and begin a safe, effective recovery. In most cases, this is the most beneficial program for recovering addicts.

Changing Your Lifestyle

There are other actions you can take as well to strengthen your recovery and to avoid relapse. Many individuals who use drugs have an unhealthy lifestyle that they are able to change with time and treatment, and these changes can also minimize one’s chances of relapse.

  • Get plenty of rest. If you are getting the right amount of sleep, you won’t feel overly tired or overly wired, which will make you less likely to turn to a substance to help regulate your sleep cycle.
  • Exercise regularly. Doing so can actually address certain needs that medications used in detox and addiction treatment cannot. It can also reduce negative feelings and stress, which are extremely likely to lead to relapse (NIDA).
  • Eating right can also help you stay on the right track. It is a practice in self-discipline and will remind you not to replace substance abuse with unhealthy eating habits.

Ask for Help

One of the most important things to remember during your recovery is that you can always reach out to those around you. No one should expect you to be suddenly cured of your substance use disorder, especially directly after detox, and even if you have been sober for a long time, the desire to use may still return.

Talk to your family, friends, and other loved ones if you feel like using. Ask them to help you avoid turning back to drugs. It may even be a good idea to live with someone else for a while, especially if you are still going through detox or treatment. Having a safety net can help you to feel less like you have to rely completely on your own willpower, which your addiction has likely minimized.

Avoid Triggers

Stress is one of the biggest triggers for relapse, according to the NIDA Archives. Doing what you can to avoid unnecessary stress can make a huge difference in your recovery and allow you to avoid feelings that could lead to relapse. Stress is a general trigger for most individuals, but everyone has their own, personal triggers that lead to relapse as well.

Those with coping resources are less likely to relapse. You can usually learn to identify your triggers as a part of addiction treatment therapy. Patients are often asked to consider scenarios in which they may be triggered to use and then reason out the best way to avoid this effect. As a result, you can learn to anticipate problems before they happen and to steer clear of them.

Remember: Relapse Is Common


Relapse is common and doesn’t indicate failure.

Though there are many ways to prevent relapse in and out of treatment, it is still important to remember how likely this scenario is and what will happen if you do relapse. Remembering that you should still move forward with your recovery is the most important thing to know. Just because you relapsed doesn’t mean your treatment failed or that you should give up on getting better.

In the event of a relapse, try to remain calm and to ask a loved one for help. Telling someone what happened is helpful because then you can’t avoid the consequences of your relapse or pretend it didn’t happen. Next, try to decide what you need in order to get your recovery back on track. Maybe you need to go back to treatment or attend a support group meeting. Maybe you need to see a doctor. Whatever you decide, make sure it reflects your current needs and experiences and that you seek the help you require.

What Is the Best Way to Prevent Relapse?

If you are still struggling with substance abuse or afraid that you may relapse back to this dangerous behavior, seeking treatment is a safe and extremely reliable way to prevent relapse. And especially if you are still suffering from withdrawal symptoms, it could help you immensely to begin with a professional detox program.

We can help you find the best treatment center for your current needs and safely begin––or continue––your recovery from substance abuse. Call 800-996-6135(Who Answers?) now to learn more.


  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition)- How Effective is Drug Addiction Treatment?
  2. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2016). Opiate and Opioid Withdrawal.
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition)- Can Exercise Play a Role in the Treatment Process?
  4. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2001). Stress and Substance Abuse: A Special Report After the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks.
Get Help Today Phone icon 800-779-4314 Info icon Who Answers?