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Relapsing is not a failure - Drug Rehab South Africa

For many years addiction was seen as an addict’s weakness or personal choice.

Sadly, there are still rehabilitation centres, some local, that refuse to acknowledge the years of careful research verifying that addiction is a chronic disease.

As with any chronic illness/disease (diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure) the threat of relapsing back into addiction will always exist.

However it’s important to understand that relapsing does not mean you have failed and that there is always a new day to start recovery again.

Drug abuse cycle - drug rehab South Africa 

What are the common triggers of relapse?

Harvesting negative emotions

  • Particularly anger, frustration, jealousy, boredom, depression and anxiety.


  • Stressful situations or trouble at work or home can lead you to wanting to try escape from these situations by using drugs or drinking.

Social pressure and old toxic relationships

  • Spending time with people that you routinely got high or drunk with before you went into rehab can lead to lowered inhibitions and eventually relapse.

Thoughts of the “good old days”

  • Thinking about how your life was before you chose sobriety encourages negative thoughts (boring, lonely, empty) about your life post rehabilitation.

Justification of “just one more time”

  • The idea of using just once more is a fallacy faced by many addicts and is typically a result of your sobriety ambiguity.

Unhealthy choices and lifestyle

  • It’s important to partake in activities that provide positive structure, routine and healthy growth.

Stages of Relapse

Emotional relapse

  • During this stage relapsing is not yet a concern.
  • However the manifestation of negative thoughts, emotions and behaviours weaken your want to recover, fostering the idea of a possible relapse.
  • Isolation, not going to meetings, poor eating habits, depression, anxiety.

Cognitive relapse

  • During this stage your ‘addicted self’ is in civil war with your ‘sober self’.
  • There is no actual ‘using’ yet however there are frequent thoughts about using again.
  • Hanging out with old friends and glamorising your life prior to your recovery.

Physical relapse

  • Once thoughts of relapse are present it is very easy to fall back into your old addicted ways.
  • It is important to identify early relapse signs and avoid those using learned coping mechanisms and techniques.

Step Away Alcohol and Drug Rehab Centre South Africa

Our addiction treatment programme is designed to prepare you for your life after you leave us.

We offer an aftercare programme that equips you with the needed coping mechanisms and support that should be used in times of weakness.

Please contact us for more information on how we can help you today.

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