What to Do After A Relapse
If you or your loved one are in recovery, you already know that the possibility of addiction relapse is always there, to one degree or another. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that first-year relapse rates for alcohol or drug addiction recovery are between 40 and 60 percent, on par with other chronic illnesses like diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. When you factor the emotional stress and challenges to care brought on by the pandemic and an increasingly divided cultural and political climate, it becomes even easier to understand how people in recovery can experience a setback these days.
It’s important to realize that even when you or your loved one suffers a relapse in addiction recovery, it’s not the end of the world or your sobriety. Here are some steps you can immediately take to get back on track with your recovery after relapse.
Tell your sponsor, someone in your support system or who is at least familiar with your recovery what happened and let them help you. Whether you just need someone to talk to or assistance getting back into treatment, giving the incident voice and brining it into the light of day let’s others know you need help. It eliminates the self-imposed shame, guilt or secrecy you may feel when something like this happens. Tell them exactly what happened, including what drugs you took, when and where.
Get to a local meeting immediately. Meetings not only offer accountability and support; they can provide a lifeline to logistical support to get back into treatment. Lean on other group members to help you get back into a program. If it’s hard to get into your old treatment center, contact a nearby facility for an immediate assessment and verification.
Instead of torturing yourself or trying to rationalize your relapse, accept that it happened and make the commitment to safely and comfortably explore the reasons why with the help of your care team and therapist. Getting yourself back into treatment is critical to helping you put your addiction relapse behind you. It helps you identify new and existing vulnerabilities while surrounding you with a supportive community.
Addiction relapse is usually triggered by something specific, whether it’s something as immediate and sudden as coming into contact with alcohol or drugs at a party, or something deeper, like a series of bad days, trauma, depression or anxiety. It’s important to understand the circumstances that led to your relapse so you can take steps to avoid them in the future.
Build on the healthy habits you’ve already started cultivating in recovery. Keep focusing on your relationships, your diet, your mental health and your fitness. These pillars of wellness will help you feel better on a daily basis, both physically and emotionally, so you can further insulate yourself from the possibility of relapse.
As simple as this sounds, it’s important to build a life that is more enjoyable than using drugs or alcohol. This means continuing to do the work, figuring out what keeps you happy and healthy and cultivating a life worth living. The more you enjoy life, minute to minute and day to day, the less you will feel the need to escape it. If you or your loved one has experienced relapse, Recovery Unplugged is ready to help you get back on track with your recovery, your future and your life.
We take our music-focused treatment for addiction very seriously, so we are going to hold our content to the same precision standards. Recovery Unplugged’s editorial process involves our editing safeguard and our ideals. Read our Editorial Process.
- Drug & Alcohol Addiction Treatment Centers
- Fort Lauderdale Drug Rehab
- West Palm Beach Drug Rehab
- Alcohol & Drug Rehab in Nashville, TN
- Virginia Drug & Alcohol Rehab
- Rehabs in Florida
- Tennessee Drug Rehab
- Rehabs in Washington, DC
- Am I an Addict?
- Helping You Detox Off Drugs and Alcohol
- Our Residential Treatment Program
- Our Inpatient Drug Treatment Program
- Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program
- Partial Hospitalization Program
- Medication Assisted Treatment Program (MAT)
- Our Music-Assisted Treatment
- Faith Based Recovery Programs
- Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
- Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy
- Resource for Knowing What Drugs Smell Like
- 5 Children's Books That Discuss Drugs and Alcohol
- How Do Drugs and Alcohol Affect Your Sex Life?
- HBO Series Euphoria Follows Woman Suffering from Drug Addiction
- Suboxone - Is it Obsolete?
- Rebuilding Relationships After Addiction
- A Guide to What Drugs Look Like and How to Identify Them by Appearance
- Do You Have A Sports Addiction?
- The Lasting Scars of Self-Harm
- The Best Composers to Listen to While Healing
- This One Time, I went to Rehab in Mexico
- Alcohol and Job Loss: Getting Help before Getting Fired
- How Long Does Valium Withdrawal Last?