What Is Relapse? Everything You Need to Know About Staying Sober


What is ‘relapse’? You may have heard this phrase when it comes to sobriety, but do you really know what it means? If you or someone you know is struggling through sobriety, there is a high chance that a relapse might happen. When this happens, it can be bad news when it comes to recovery.

If you are curious about what relapsing is, you’re in the luck because, in this article, we are going over what relapsing is and how it can affect your road to recovery.

What Is Relapse?

Relapsing is a common problem among people with addiction, and it takes the use of news skills to cope with relapse and how to avoid it. There are two different types of relapse. One is a “slip,” and the other is a “full slip”.

A Slip

A slip is when an addict participates in a minor use of a substance or act then immediately stops. A slip can happen even if the addict doesn’t think about it. This can vary from a drink-toast at a wedding or a small puff of a joint that’s being passed amongst friends.

Even though a slip may seem small, it can become a habit and eventually lead to a full-blown relapse.

Full Relapse

A full relapse is when the addict heavily participates in their substance or act. The hope is that the addict returns to recovery. If they don’t, it’s considered a relapse that triggered back to a full-on addiction.

A full relapse often occurs as a binge or a full session. This type of relapse brings more risk for the person becoming a full-time addict again.

Why Does Relapsing Happen?

There are several reasons why people relapse. Stress, peer pressure, being alone, or becoming mentally unstable can influence a relapse. These feelings are known as triggers. Different types of triggers include the following.

  • Hanging out with people you used drugs with.
  • Going to the old places you’ve gotten high at in the past.
  • Listening to music or watching TV shows that show substance abuse.
  • Hearing people talk about the substance abuse you used to partake in.
  • Going through emotional or mental instability.

These triggers are the main reasons for relapsing. You’ll need to learn how to deal with the triggers to avoid relapse and continue on your road to recovery.

How to Avoid Relapsing

The best way to avoid relapse is by surrounding yourself with people who are there to help. Stay in your treatment facility and talk with your provider on what the best options are when it comes to avoiding relapsing.

Stay away from people who are currently using. These people can be a bad influence on your sobriety. Sobriety is the key to living a wholesome life, so make sure to avoid any of the triggers we’ve mentioned above.

Did this article help you understand what is ‘relapse’? If so, check out our other great articles on our page.


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