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What to Do After A Relapse

What to Do After A Relapse

What to Do After a Relapse

For many, addiction recovery and relapse go hand in hand. Recovering from drug or alcohol abuse isn’t a straightforward journey but rather one with many unexpected twists and turns. For some, relapsing while they’re trying to gain a foothold in sobriety is common. While not inevitable, it’s not uncommon for people who are new to the recovery community to struggle with abstaining from drugs or alcohol. If you or someone you’re close to has recently fallen off the path, here are some tips of what to do after a relapse that could help you get back on your feet. 

What Happens When You Relapse?

First thing’s first: what is relapse? Relapse occurs when a person stops maintaining their goal of reducing or abstaining from drug or alcohol use. 

In this case, relapse will refer to using drugs and alcohol again after a long period of abstinence. Relapse may occur for many reasons, and unfortunately, it’s quite common. 

Some of the most common reasons people relapse include not having a strong support system, lack of commitment to continuous therapy or treatment, and not wanting to quit for themselves. Although relapse may seem random, it’s usually a culmination of small changes in the person’s behavior over time. 

A person may relapse after a long period of experiencing stress at work or following a breakup or divorce. The reasoning might be as simple as a lack of motivation to continue their sobriety. 

Relapse is more likely to occur in people without strong support systems or access to aftercare services like alumni programs. If you or a loved one is interested in beginning their recovery journey, our Chicago drug and alcohol rehab offers not only treatment, but also aftercare services to help patients stay sober and avoid relapse. 

How to Recover After a Relapse

Many people feel a sense of failure after relapse occurs, and this is normal. It’s important to not let this feeling consume you, and rather use it as motivation to get back on track. 

Let’s make it clear that relapse does not mean you’ve failed. It just means you need to change your approach to sobriety. If you’ve relapsed or known someone who has, please review these tips on what to do after a relapse that can help. 

Decide If You Need Treatment Again

The first thing you should do after relapse is determine whether you need drug or alcohol addiction treatment again. Sometimes a relapse is more serious than having one more drink. 

Addiction is a chronic disease, so that underlying urge to overindulge in drugs and alcohol will always be there, although possibly under control. For someone with alcoholism, one drink could set off a chain of heavy alcohol consumption, and sometimes they need to go back to square one. 

If this is the case for you or your loved one, seek out treatment again. There’s no shame in going back to rehab after a relapse. If this is the best way for you to get back on track and stay sober, then it’s the best choice. 

Our Chicago drug rehab offers different levels of care for substance abuse treatment so everyone struggling with addiction, no matter their disorder, can get better. Whether it’s taking that first step or continuing recovery after relapse, we can help. 

Join a Support Group 

Relapse is common among people who don’t have strong support systems at home, so another great way to recover from relapse and avoid it in the future is to join a support group. There are hundreds of support groups for people in addiction recovery that allow you to connect with others in the recovery community so you may learn from them. 

These groups not only allow you to pick up new tips from others who may have already recovered from relapse, but they grant you the opportunity to build strong relationships with people who are like-minded and are also committed to sobriety. Making friends is hard enough but joining a support group offers you an avenue to new friendships and people who will keep you accountable and on the path of your recovery goal. 

Speak to a Therapist 

Therapy is for everyone. For someone who’s relapsed on drugs or alcohol, speaking to a therapist can be a huge help in recovering and avoiding it in the future. 

Therapists are qualified to see and understand the sources of our thoughts and behaviors. A therapist can help uncover why you relapsed, determine the things in your life that contributed to your relapse, and identify the common signs of relapse to be aware of in case they come up again in the future.

Make Changes 

In addition to some obvious factors, like stress or divorce, there are also plenty of little factors in our lives that may easily contribute to a relapse. To avoid relapsing, sometimes it’s as simple as taking a route home from work that doesn’t include the bar. 

Maybe it’s as easy as avoiding that one spot where you used to smoke or drink with friends. It could be even avoiding certain TV shows,movies, or songs that remind you of a time when you drank or used drugs. 

We encourage our patients to make small changes in their lives because, in the end, they all come together to create an environment that’s conducive to their recovery. If you have relapsed, look back at your life a week or month before to determine what it looked like. 

How were you feeling? What was happening in your life? Did you do anything different from when you got home from rehab to then? Look at your answers to determine what changed and how you can keep yourself accountable. 

Help for Addiction 

Whether you need tips on what to do when you relapse or want to get started on addiction recovery, our drug rehab in Naperville can help. From partial hospitalization treatment to aftercare services, our facility provides patients with in-depth treatment and support to ensure that they have everything they need to sustain long-term sobriety. 

Recovery is possible for everyone, no matter the severity of their addiction. To learn how to get started with addiction treatment today, call Banyan Treatment Centers at 888-280-4763. Our specialists are waiting to help. 

Related Reading: 
How to Make an Addiction Recovery Plan
Can I Smoke Weed in Recovery?
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
What to Do After A Relapse
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