According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, 2 million people had a substance use disorder (SUD) in 2015 involving pain medications – and the numbers likely haven’t stopped there. While some people become addicted to opioids from their prescribed medications by taking higher doses and more frequently than recommended, many others are obtaining these drugs for free from family and friends. If you or a loved one has begun treatment for addiction, relapse is a common concern. Relapse occurs when a person retreats back to old, addictive habits of behavior, causing them to momentarily “slip” in their recovery. Understanding the factors that can influence one’s relapse risk means that preventative measures can be taken earlier on.
A 2017 study published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research sought to gain insight on spirituality and other factors associated with recovery to see which ones are most conducive in predicting a person’s relapse in opioid addiction recovery. Three-hundred and twelve participants were enrolled in the study, and questionnaires were distributed regarding relapse and factors leading to it. Of the 312 participants, 157 identified as having never relapsed, while the rest of the participants averaged a mean of 2-3 relapses during their recovery period thus far. The following factors were noted as contributors to relapse:
- Family factors – family conflicts, having an addicted family member, marriage issues, neglecting the family after drug withdrawal
- Economic factors – poverty, buying or selling opiates in order to earn money, cheapness of drugs, pressure of living expenses
- Personal factors – maintaining a relationship with a friend or colleague who struggles with addiction, being rejected from friends and community, regular use of opiates within the community, somatic pain
- Occupational factors – unemployment, lack of interest at job, work-related issues with colleagues, boring work or working too long
Spiritual well-being served as a major component of someone’s health in recovery. The researchers found that spirituality gives meaning to people’s lives and can serve as a coping mechanism when faced with tricky situations. If you’re currently in recovery for addiction, developing your sense of spirituality (sense of meaning, not always a connection with a Higher Power) could assist you in feeling more fulfilled in your journey. Take note of the factors that could lead to relapse and identify coping mechanisms and action plans for dealing with these problems that may arise.
Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.