There are a variety of reasons relapse can happen. Often, people leave treatment with the best of intentions, but, when confronted with old friends or family members who use, they fall back into old patterns of behavior. Uncomfortable feelings of fear, anger, anxiety or depression can also result in relapse if the person has not developed tools to cope with these problems in a healthy way. Remember, for many addicts, drugs and alcohol are a form of self-medication. If the habit of using is not replaced with other habits, using will continue to feel like the solution to life’s challenges.
Part of recovery is learning how to cope with difficult situations, emotions, and conflict without using. Treatment can help by uncovering the issues contributing to addiction, and teaching tools and strategies that can be used in these situations.