What happens to your body when you relapse?

A relapse takes you away from your target regardless of the substance. But with some medications, starting over can seriously harm or even kill you. After you stop using it, your body changes. You can no longer cope with the same amount of medication you used to take.

After a relapse, many people experience feelings of shame or regret. In addition, you may feel like giving up the fight and giving in to your addiction instead of continuing to work hard and overcome the fleeting desire to use. They are normal, but they can create challenges to creating a drug-free life. There are many different philosophies about recovery and relapse, often with opposite principles, that can make you confused about which one is the right one.

For some, relapse looks negative and indicates weakness. But this view is considered harmful, as it encourages feelings of guilt and shame that can hinder your ability to recover from a setback. For others, recovery is a process of personal growth that usually involves a couple of setbacks, 2 Rather than seeing a relapse as embarrassing, this perspective sees it as a learning experience. A relapse is reusing harmful coping skills while you are recovering from an addiction.

Relapsing on drugs works the same way, except that consuming more than you can tolerate could have deadly consequences. A relapse in addiction recovery can also create an emotional crisis. Your motivation to succeed with a lasting recovery is gone, and you may feel overcome by a sense of hopelessness. While relapse is a normal part of recovery, for some medications it can be very dangerous, even fatal.

If a person uses as much medication as they did before quitting smoking, they can easily overdose because their body is no longer adapted to their previous level of exposure to the drug. An overdose occurs when a person uses enough of a drug to produce uncomfortable feelings, symptoms that threaten life or death.