Oscar award-winning actor Philip Seymour-Hoffman’s death came as a shock to peers and fans alike. News of him entering rehab back in 2013 hogged the headlines of numerous showbiz outlets, where it was eventually revealed that this stint was not his first, but rather, as a result of a relapse. Apparently, the revered actor battled drugs years before and managed to remain drug-free for 23 years.
The actor’s death reveals how a relapse can easily occur among those who have history of drug addiction. Scientists believe that a relapse occurs when people encounter triggers, such as reminders of their previous addiction, like a TV program depicting drug users and such.
Meanwhile, an article of PsychologyToday.com suggests that a relapse can occur as a form of self-sabotage. A former drug user may have gotten his or her life back on track, but for him or her, life this new life beyond the rehab center has become unfamiliar territory. As such, the person develops the urge to escape and use drugs again.
While there is no surefire way to prevent a relapse, there are ways for people to help someone in recovery. Some drug rehab centers offer a complete continuum of care that includes aftercare and relapse prevention sessions. Sessions usually focus on cognitive behavioral therapy to help recovering addicts build skills to fight off cravings for substances.