In internal medicine, relapse or recidivism is a recurrence of a past (typically medical) condition. For example, multiple sclerosis and malaria often exhibit peaks of activity and sometimes very long periods of dormancy, followed by relapse or recrudescence. In psychiatry, relapse or reinstatement of drug-seeking behavior, is a form of spontaneous recovery that involves the recurrence of pathological drug use after a period of abstinence. Relapse is often observed in individuals who have developed a drug addiction or either form of drug dependence.
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