CleanSlate Blog

"Relapse" Sounds Like a Bad Word. But Recovery Often Comes with a Slip.

by Todd Fausnaught, M.D. | Jul 19, 2019

"Relapse."

The word implies “failure.” After beginning treatment for their addiction, patients often feel a sense of shame. Some people may resign themselves to their addiction if they don’t immediately succeed in treatment.

Because of the stigma and negative associations attached to the word relapse, much work has been done amongst the addiction community to move away from this term. We're now advocating for other terms, like “recurrence of use.” I prefer using the term "slip."

Whatever you call it, the science is clear that addiction is a chronic brain disease. Most people who attempt recovery will experience at least one slip.

But here’s the good news:

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