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What is the Main Cause of Addiction Relapse in Los Angeles?

One of the main causes of addiction relapse in Los Angeles, California is not having a proper relapse prevention plan.  The other is not doing enough to change old habits so that the temptation to relapse is still front and center in a person’s life.

The Number One Cause of Addiction Relapse

Stress is something that every human being experiences.  It can actually be a positive force. It gets us to do the things we need to accomplish.  It can also be very destructive.  It is the number one reason for addiction relapse. 

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Other Causes of Relapse

Other causes of relapse are falling back into old habits that led to using or drinking in the past. You may have to change many facets of your life to stay clean and sober. This includes people, places, and things that contributed to your drug abuse or alcohol abuse.  Also, you cannot rely on the fact that you went to drug rehab for alcohol rehab.  You have to work on your addiction recovery every day in order to successfully maintain a happier, healthier lifestyle. 

Early Warning Signs of Relapse

When there is the possibility that someone is going to relapse, there are actually stages that occur, during which there are also warning signs.  These signs of a relapse can help the person themselves recognize what is happening and take measures to stop the relapse from actually occurring.  That is why drug rehabs and alcohol and drug treatment experts emphasize developing a relapse prevention plan. This can be done during inpatient treatment or outpatient treatment.  It can incorporate coping skills and life skills, as well as actual steps as to what to do when the stages of a relapse begin.  This can be as simple as calling your sponsor at Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous or someone else in your support group. Some experts say that relapses are just a part of someone’s overall addiction recovery but they can be dangerous.  Relapses can lead to binge drinking or using.  They can also lead to someone not going back into recovery.  Here are the stages of relapse, including the physical relapse stage, which can be considered the actual relapse, too:

Emotional Relapse: During the emotional relapse stage, an individual might have had minor triggers or stresses in their life that did not immediately make them want to use or drink, but are having a toll on their soul or spirit.  Their behavior might begin to change in the following ways, which are signs of this stage of relapse:

  • Bottling up their emotions
  • Not going to support group meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous
  • Isolating themselves from peers and family
  • Poor eating and sleeping habits
  • Intolerance
  • Defensiveness
  • Mood swings
  • Not asking for help
  • Poor self-care emotionally or physically
  • Not having sober fun or taking time for oneself


Mental Relapse: Letting the symptoms of the emotional relapse stage add up is what leads to the mental relapse stage. The mental relapse stage can take several forms. It can turn into an internal battle between the person and themselves. Individuals tend to justify using drugs or drinking alcohol either for a single instance or in a more controlled fashion than they had in the past.  Here are some of the signs this is occurring: 

  • Cravings or physical urges to use drugs or drink alcohol
  • Thinking about situations associated with past use
  • Spending time with friends who use alcohol or other drugs
  • Minimizing consequences of past use or glamorizing past use (justifying)
  • Lying
  • Thinking of schemes to better control using (another form of justifying)
  • Fantasizing about using
  • Planning their relapse

Physical Relapse: When substance abusers and drug addicts who are in addiction recovery do not act on and take the steps they have put together in their relapse prevention plan into action, they will inevitably use or drink again. This is referred to as the physical help stage or just relapsing. All of the signs and symptoms that this was going to occur are above and are part of the emotional and mental stages of someone’s relapse.

What to Do if You Relapse in Los Angeles

If you relapse and you have a sponsor, call them.  If you do not, please call us at The Detox Center of Los Angeles for help.  We have an excellent staff of alcohol and drug treatment professionals and we are here to help. 

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Will my insurance cover treatment for addiction?

The Detox Center of L.A. accepts most major insurance providers and private healthcare policies. We offer free insurance verification as well as eligibility and benefits for both behavioral and mental health treatment services. Please fill out our insurance verification form here to verify your insurance.

What happens in addiction

Effective addiction treatment programs are tailored to each individual. Because of this, it will be a different experience for everyone. However, it generally involves a combination of detoxification, group and individual therapy, educational presentations, and aftercare planning in order to ensure long-term recovery. Upon arrival at The Detox Center of L.A., you can expect our professionally trained staff to create an individualized treatment plan based on your needs and treatment goals.