Before and during recovery, many individuals struggling with cocaine addictions worry about what will happen if they relapse. In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at what causes a relapse, how to get back on the road to recovery after and the warning signs to look out for in future.
What Causes a Cocaine Relapse?
Relapse is a normal part of the recovery process and no matter how long or how hard you commit to lifelong sobriety, the chance of a relapse will always be there due to the nature of addiction and according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, relapse rates while in recovery are between 40 to 60 percent.
After just a short period of sobriety (between 1 to 6 months), relapse is a common occurrence and roughly half of all recovering individuals experience temporary moments of weakness that cause them to pick up the cocaine again.
Unfortunately, after a relapse many experience feelings of deep shame and regret as well as a sense of hopelessness which may make them want to give up the fight to recover altogether. Instead, it’s important to use a relapse as a learning tool, helping to identify your triggers and create a more personal relapse prevention plan for the future.
By identifying these triggers, you can find the root cause of the relapse which will help you to lay the foundation for recovery and come back stronger than ever.
Warning Signs of a Cocaine Relapse
One of the best ways to prevent a relapse is to recognise the warning signs early on.
If you notice you are experiencing a lot of stress, whether that is at work, home or in your social life, you’re at greater risk of relapse as stress is one of the biggest triggers. Make sure to practice all of the skills and techniques taught in your recovery programme to help manage and cope with your stress.
Increase in Cravings
This might seem like an obvious one but you really shouldn’t underestimate the dangers of increased cravings or anticipation of use.
A Glamorous Spin on Your Past Cocaine Use
When you come out of recovery, you may start to forget all of the bad elements of taking cocaine and begin to romanticise the memories you had of using it, remembering only the good times you had. Having this perception of your addiction can be incredibly dangerous, particularly if you start to miss the ‘good old days’ and the lifestyle you used to lead.
Thinking Negatively About Recovery
If you find yourself starting to resent the programme and no longer believe in the sacrifices you’re making towards a better life, the risk of relapse is very high. This is because individuals start to forget the importance of their journey and start to slack on their recovery techniques, leading to a relapse.
Isolation and Boredom
Feeling isolated and/or bored is a large trigger for many and due to the attractive stimulant qualities of cocaine, can cause many to relapse. If you find yourself feeling isolated or bored, make sure to reach out to a loved one for support or keep your mind occupied with other things such as hobbies, exercise or meditation.
Changes in Routine or Behaviour
One of the biggest warning signs of an impending relapse is a sudden shift in routine or behaviour. If you or a loved one notices your routine and behaviour changing e.g. no longer attending recovery meetings, failing to speak to mentors, spending less time doing the things you love etc, then this could be a big red flag.
Don’t Wait, Reach Out for Support Now
If you are struggling with an addiction or notice any of the warning signs that a relapse is likely to occur, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Acquiesce where we can help determine whether you need to go back to rehabilitation to prevent a relapse.
If you have already relapsed, please don’t lose hope. Speak to our team to discuss whether you need to come into rehab. If you believe it was an isolated incident and you’re committed to adjusting your recovery plan, you may not need to go back to residential rehab and may benefit from a Dayhab programme instead.