The definition of a lapse is a temporary failure of concentration, memory, or judgment. The keyword to note here is that it is temporary. In addiction recovery, a lapse is a return to use on one or two occasions like one previously did while in full addiction after they have been through addiction treatment. It is a breach of the recovery process.
What is The Difference Between Lapse and Relapse?
The definition of relapse is suffering a period of deterioration after a period of improvement. A relapse in addiction recovery is the full-blown return to us or drug use after a period of abstinence. A relapse involves more than just a single, one-time use (a lapse).
How to Deal With a Lapse?
While in recovery, lapses can happen, it doesn’t mean one is a failure. When a lapse happens, it is critical to seek out support immediately. Being open and honest about the lapse allows the person to learn and grow from the experience. Determine what caused this lapse by going over the incidents that led up to it. Where were you at? Who were you with? What were you doing? How were you feeling, and what provoked these feelings? It is important to talk with a counselor or therapist to learn how to deal with the lapse. Finding ways to overcome slip-ups, maintain recovery goals, and prevent relapse is the challenge here. People often feel bad about themselves if they’ve had a lapse, but how you handle the situation is what is important here. As we have previously stated, treat the lapse as a learning experience and move forward in your recovery. You can’t sit and dwell on what’s happened. This is only going to make things worse and will lead to a full-blown relapse if the person doesn’t let go of this, let it go. Tomorrow is a new day and a chance to start fresh.
More About Lapsing in Recovery
Lapsing in recovery can happen. It is a brief slip-up where someone may have a moment of weakness and use, but they instantly regret their decision. They will then usually return to recovery. According to the National Institute of Health Indian Journal of Psychiatry “Relapse Prevention“:
The initial transgression of problem behavior after a quit attempt is defined as a “lapse,” which could eventually lead to continued transgressions to a level that is similar to before quitting and is defined as a “relapse”. Another possible outcome of a lapse is that the client may manage to abstain and thus continue to go forward in the path of positive change, “prolapse”. Many researchers define relapse as a process rather than as a discrete event and thus attempt to characterize the factors contributing to relapse. (NIH)
Lapses have fewer negative connotations and are less damaging than falling back into full addiction. However, handling a lapse is very important because if it isn’t handled properly, the person could be headed for a relapse.
Start Treatment for Drug Abuse at Evoke Wellness at Miramar
Evoke Wellness offers a safe and comfortable environment for medical detoxification. Our patients are treated extensively so that minimal discomfort is experienced during the detox process. We provide residential treatment in a structured environment and then provide you with after-care support, which is very important when being treated for addiction. Evoke Wellness is here to help you get on the road to long-term recovery.