Relapse from opiates is one of the many challenges that a recovered alcoholic faces every day. Relapse refers to returning to a pattern of behavior that once existed, one that was intrusive and negative in the person’s life. For a person who once abused opiates and sought help to recover, avoiding relapse is no easy task. Putting oneself back into a similar environment or around people who once used the drug can easily trigger a lapse or slip up. Once this happens, a person is very likely to experience a relapse returning to their abusive behavior of opiates.
Addictions are very difficult to overcome. The future prevention of relapse from opiates may be an even more difficult task to overcome. Research shows that 40-60% of people who receive treatment for an addiction will experience a relapse in the years to follow. This number is extremely alarming, and anyone who was brave enough to seek help in the past should continue to do what is necessary to avoid a relapse from opiates in the future.
There are programs that can help a person stay clean after going through rehab and recovery. For example, Narcotics Anonymous is a 12-step program that allows individuals to attend regular meetings and discuss as well as seek support for the addictions that are or may have once ruled their lives. Some people take part in replacement therapy, receiving injections or medications that are safer to their once abused opiates (e.g., Methadone for the recovery of heroin abuse).
Relapse from opiates is a serious matter. There are many risk factors that may put a person at risk for experiencing a relapse. However, there are also many protective factors (as mentioned above) as well. Seek help if you or someone you know is experiencing a relapse from opiates.