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difference between a relapse and a slip

The Difference Between a Relapse and a Slip

What is a Slip? Toronto, Ontario

When talking about experiencing a slip or relapse in drug and alcohol use or abuse, it is important to look at the scenario in which it occurs and the intention being the drug and alcohol usage. Determining a slip or a relapse is also relevant to your personal experiences with drug and alcohol abuse. Though different for each individual, the term slip can be determined as a temporary or unintentional drug or alcohol use. When you experience a slip, it can turn into a relapse, but that is not a guarantee. If you experience a slip, make sure you acknowledge that you had a slip, a moment of weakness where you gave into temptation does not mean you are experiencing a full relapse.

What is a Relapse? Toronto, Ontario

Relapse, different from a slip, is determined to be when an alcohol and drug addiction recovery plan has been completely abandoned and you return to regular alcohol and drug abuse as you were before your recovery. Though both a slip and relapse have a serious impact, they are determined to have a different degree of severeness. A slip will be if an individual uses alcohol are drugs as they once would before but immediately recognizes it was a mistake, and once they sober up they immediately return to their recovery plan. A relapse however is likely planned, where there is no intention to return to the recovery plan. A slip can turn into a relapse if there is no acknowledgment and additional intervention.

Are a slip and a relapse the same thing? Toronto, Ontario

A slip and a relapse are not the same things. It is dependent on the intent of the drug or alcohol usage, and how or why the drug or alcohol usage occurred. A slip is a temporary drug or alcohol usage which involves regret and an immediate return to a life of recovery following the recovery plan. A relapse is a full return to drug and alcohol abuse with no intention to return to the recovery program. Returning to the life they were living before entering a recovery program.

relapse the same thing

Why might a slip or a relapse occur? Toronto, Ontario

There are many different scenarios where a slip or relapse may occur, which is why it is important to understand and be aware of the situations you may enter where it is possible you could run into temptation after leaving a rehabilitation centre. An example of a slip could be considered an accidental ingestion of drugs or alcohol. In restaurants, mistakes can be made where you could have ordered a coke but instead received a rum and coke. You could be at a friend’s house or a social event and you see a plate of brownies and you eat one not realizing they were baked with drugs in them. You can see with these examples that the ingestion would be accidental, which can be accompanied by immediate remorse, hence the term slip. There is also the position of temptation when you go out with a group of friends, or you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and stressed and someone offers you alcohol or drugs not realizing you are in recovery, and the temptation is too great. This temporary usage, paired with remorse and a return to your recovery program will all be identified as a slip. That being said, without the return of the recovery program and no additional intervention, this can turn into a relapse.

If a slip or relapse is not intervened on, the longer you go without acknowledging it, and the longer you go without intervention after the slip or relapse, the harder it will be to tackle it. Without addressing it, the emotions you experience as a result of these actions can further fuel your addiction which you have worked so hard on in your recovery. The feelings of regret and failure can eat you alive and push you to turn back to a life of addiction, some may even feel humiliated at what their family and friends may think of this slip or relapse. The work you have put into your recovery does not disappear, as long as you return to striving for your life of sobriety.

What do I do if I have a slip? Toronto, Ontario

If you do have a slip through your recovery, own it. Learn and understand why you slipped. Was it because of the atmosphere you were in? Were you triggered? What triggered you? Understanding yourself better after your slip will help you progress. If you slip, make the commitment to continue on your recovery journey, and your life of sobriety, and put the work in to avoid having another slip. After a slip, stay in recovery and connect with your sober coach, friends, your family, your therapists, and the rest of your support network. The last thing you want to do is shut them out. Even though it can be hard to talk with them after a slip due to potential feelings of regret or embarrassment, push through it because it is a vital part of continuing your recovery. They were your support system before you slipped, and they will remain your support system after the slip. It is important to hold on to the support you have because a slip could have easily turned into a relapse without acknowledgment.

connect your therapist

If I slip, do I go back to the beginning of recovery? Toronto, Ontario

This is about perspective and interpretation. It is very dependent on the mindset that motivates you. If a slip occurs, some people have the mindset that it means, yes I am now returning to day one because it helps to motivate them not to slip again. On the flip side, a slip may occur but someone may find it so defeating that it makes it harder for them to return to their recovery and to remain sober. This mindset is tailored to you, what best motivates you. Take ownership of the slip, but choose your path. At the end of the day, this term is just putting a name to your progress. Name your progress whatever best helps you in your life of sobriety.

We will support you after you or your loved one accomplishes our in-patient program for rehabilitation, and will be there for you through your sobriety. Whether you experience a slip or a relapse. Choose the path that leads to a life of sobriety.

At Addiction Rehab Toronto, we can help you with your addiction and every aspect of your addiction. We are will help you on your road to sobriety.

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