Relapse is not failure. This is one of the most important lessons people in recovery must learn. Relapse happens in all chronic illnesses, such as addiction. Recovery means remission, not a cure. Remission can last a lifetime, but relapse is not uncommon. Relapse prevention therapy is one of the most important aspects of a professional addiction treatment program. The goal is to find lasting recovery and avoid relapse. But what if you relapse after rehab? First and foremost—don’t give up.
Reach out to Apex Recovery to find out what to do after relapse. There are helpful guidelines for how to proceed after a relapse so that you can get back on the road to recovery as soon as possible. Contact us via online form or by calling 615.703.4639. Drug and alcohol relapse does not need to derail your future.
Drug and Alcohol Relapse After Rehab
Many people assume that professional addiction treatment results in a lifetime of sobriety that effortlessly flows from the moment of discharge. The truth is that recovery requires management.
The brain of someone with a substance use disorder (SUD) has been exposed to and steeped in chemicals and substances that changed how the brain works. The memory of how those substances are felt triggers cravings even after detoxifying the body.
Approximately half of those who have completed addiction treatment will relapse at least once. Do not let this statistic scare you. Also, do not let it prompt you to give up on recovery because you think relapse is inevitable. Just because cancer patients in remission can have a relapse does not mean they give up on treatment or on living their lives. Nor should someone with an addiction who may experience relapse.
Knowing relapse is possible and considered normal should help you avoid shame, guilt, and hopelessness in case you relapse. On the other hand, you may be part of the 50% who do not relapse. Everyone who completes addiction rehab wants to live their lives in recovery without the shadow of fear hanging over them.
In addiction treatment, you will learn numerous techniques and skills to help you avoid relapse post-discharge.
What to Do After Relapse
If you experience a relapse after rehab, focus on the following steps to help you recover.
- Maintain positivity – It’s okay to be disappointed, but don’t linger in that frame of mind. Remind yourself that relapse is not failure. Spend as much time as possible with those who love and support you and whose optimism about your journey is unflagging.
- Consider refreshing your relapse prevention skills – There are relapse prevention programs you can access, in person or online, to remind yourself of the positive habits, thoughts, and behaviors that will help you manage triggering situations. Consider this continuing ed for recovery.
- Attend more meetings – Increase your participation after relapse, whatever support program you prefer. Many of your peers in these meetings will have experienced relapse and can help you through this. Go to daily meetings, twice daily, or even more, until you feel solid again.
- Connect often with your sponsor or accountability buddy – When it is working, this relationship can greatly benefit your recovery. If you trust this person and can be honest and vulnerable with them, see or talk to them as often as you need. Also, if the relationship is not working, what matters is your recovery, not avoiding hurting someone’s feelings. Get a new sponsor if you need to.
- Keep going to therapy – If you have stopped, consider resuming your therapeutic relationship. Some therapies are created to be short-term, but even those, like dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, can be re-engaged if there are still beliefs, emotions, and behaviors that need to be shifted or uprooted.
You’ve got this. Do not let your relapse derail your recovery.
Learn How Apex Recovery Nashville’s Relapse Prevention Program Can Help
Wondering what to do after relapse? Reach out to Apex Recovery. We can help you regain your confidence and get back on the recovery road. We offer many programs to help people recover, including a relapse prevention program. Reach out today to learn more. Call 615.703.4639 or submit this online form.