Even after adequate treatment, relapse is a possibility for those in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that 40–60% of people in recovery from a substance use disorder will experience a setback

The Recovery Village recently surveyed 2,136 American adults who either wanted to stop drinking alcohol or had already tried to (successfully or not). Of those, only 29.4% reported not relapsing at all. The largest group (32.3%) relapsed back to alcohol use within the first year after stopping.

However, a relapse doesn’t mean failure. It’s an opportunity to reevaluate and modify behavior or consider returning to treatment. Because a drug or alcohol relapse can be dangerous, it’s important to know the signs and how to act if you or someone you love experiences a recurrence of use. 

Find relapse-related topics and information to better understand and serve those who may need help.

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