The Difference Between a Slip and a Relapse

The Difference Between a Slip and a Relapse | Transcend Recovery Community

Relapse is an experience that some recovering addicts are deathly afraid of. They might feel that the risk of relapse is always at their back. And for this reason they avoid all situations in which they might get triggered to drink or use drugs again. Others aren’t as nervous about experiencing a relapse. Perhaps they have more confidence in their ability to stay sober. Perhaps they feel that they have the level of support in their life to prevent relapse. Yet, under certain circumstances, someone might have a slip with their substance use. This article will explore the difference between a slip and a relapse.

A slip is an experience that is not as serious as a relapse. It is when someone picks up an alcoholic beverage or a drug and uses. However, they might realize their mistake and stop almost immediately. A slip is not as severe as a relapse because the effects on one’s life are less consequential than a relapse. Even if a person got drunk and when sober realized their mistake, they will often return to a life of recovery. A slip is frequently a spur of the moment kind of experience.

One benefit of a slip is that it might demonstrate a recovering addict just how close they came to relapsing. And as a result, it might provide them with a stronger commitment to sobriety. It might strengthen their recovery.

A relapse, however, is a far more serious experience. Frequently, it means that someone has had a drink and/or used drugs and has returned to a drinking or drug-using lifestyle. They did not stop themselves immediately afterwards. Instead, they chose to continue to use again and again. They took themselves out of recovery and returned to where they were before detoxification and treatment.

The word relapse means to fall again. Sadly, a relapse might mean an entire abandonment of sobriety. And in some cases, that person might never have another opportunity to get sober. Another consequence to relapse is that a person might see it as a failure. Those feelings of failure might inspire more drug use, shame, and self-harm. The emotional pain they experience might even exacerbate their addiction, making it even more challenging to escape.

However, the good news is that anyone who has relapsed can always return to treatment. In fact, some experts believe that those who are in recovery are likely to relapse at least once, indicating that relapse is a normal part of recovery. Just like experiencing a slip, a relapse can also be used to boost one’s commitment to sobriety and strengthen their recovery. In fact, instead of dwelling about the failures of the past, recovery could be a time to keep attention on the future and building a new life.

If you or someone you know has relapsed, contact a mental health professional. A drug counselor, therapist, or psychologist can facilitate your return to the road to recovery once more.


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