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Why Relapsing During Recovery is Especially Dangerous

Person in recovery overdosing on substance during relapse.

Recovery from addiction is never easy, and it often requires a tremendous amount of effort, commitment, and time. While relapse is a common part of the recovery journey, it can also be extremely dangerous. In fact, relapsing during recovery increases your risk of overdose significantly.

What Is Relapse?

Relapse can be defined as a return to using drugs or alcohol after a period of abstinence. It’s important to understand that relapse is not uncommon, and it doesn’t mean that recovery has failed. In fact, it’s estimated that between 40-60% of people in recovery experience at least one relapse. However, relapse can increase the risk of overdose due to changes that occur in the body during recovery.

How Does Recovery Impact the Body?

When someone is in the early stages of recovery, their body has likely been subjected to years of substance abuse. Over time, this can cause significant changes within the body, which can include an increased tolerance to the substance, changes to the brain and nervous system, and weakened immune function. As someone enters recovery, they begin to reverse many of these changes. Their tolerance to the substance decreases, and their body begins to heal. However, this also means that if they were to relapse, their body would no longer be adapted to the substance, and the risk of overdose is higher, as using what was previously a “normal” amount of a given substance is significantly more than someone’s body can now handle.

What Are the Risk Factors for Overdose During Relapse?

There are several factors that can increase the risk of overdose during relapse. These include:

  • Taking a higher dose of the substance than originally used.
  • Using the substance after a period of abstaining.
  • Using a combination of substances (polysubstance or polydrug use) can amplify the effects.

Additionally, environmental and emotional triggers can lead to relapse, making it important for those in recovery to have a strong support system.

How Can Relapse and Overdose Risk Be Reduced?

If you or someone you know is in recovery, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of overdose during relapse. These include seeking support from a trained addiction specialist or counselor, having a comprehensive relapse prevention plan in place, and attending regular meetings. Additionally, having a strong sober support system can help when facing triggers or cravings.

We Are Here and Ready to Help

At North Georgia Recovery Center, it’s all about community and teamwork. Our approach centers on building a supportive, family atmosphere throughout every program we offer. Our past and current patients and staff come together to help create a positive environment that can make all of the difference in your recovery journey. However, even with this emphasis on togetherness, we recognize that each individual and their path to recovery is unique. Our personalized treatment plans are created with your goals and needs in mind. You can rest easy knowing that our team is dedicated to helping you every step of the way. At North Georgia Recovery Center, your success becomes our success.

Contact us today to get started on your recovery – our consultations are completely free and confidential!