A relapse is defined as the worsening of a clinical condition that had previously improved. In addiction treatment, relapse is the resumption of substance use after an attempt to stop using or a period of abstinence. For example, a person who returns to drug use after months in rehab would relapse. Relapse occurs when an addict returns to using alcohol or drugs after a period of sobriety.
A relapse can be a damaging and deadly matter with devastating consequences. A relapse refers to the resumption of alcohol or other drugs, or gambling, that a person has previously managed to control or completely stop using. In a relapse, alcohol or other drug use or gambling can be traced back to or near previous levels of use. Addiction is a chronic illness, making relapse a possibility no matter how long a person has abstained from substance abuse.
Once a relapse occurs, it can be difficult for a person to get back on the path of recovery. They are likely to feel a strong desire to continue using it once they do it once. As a result, getting a person back to treatment as soon as possible after a relapse is crucial to their long-term health and recovery. In short, a relapse is the worsening of a previously improved medical condition.
A relapse into addiction is when the person with the past addiction begins to participate again in their addictive behavior after a period of not doing so, known as abstinence.