What Does it Mean to "Relapse?"

(NIDA, July 9)  A person who’s trying to stop using drugs can sometimes start using them again. This return to drug use is called a “relapse.”relapse and recovery graphic (gears)

Relapse happens to a lot of people recovering from substance use disorders. That’s because it takes practice to learn how to live without drugs. Drug use affects the brain, and it can take time and effort for those effects to decrease.

Treatment and relapse

Stopping drug use is like trying to take care of your health in other ways. It's hard to learn to do things differently—like eating more vegetables and exercising more often—and to do them every day. It’s easy to fall back into old behaviors. Read the rest on the 'NIDA for Teens' blog.