If a relapse happens even while you are in the midst of your recovery process, rest assured you are not alone. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), estimates that relapse rates fall somewhere between 40 and 60 percent. Relapse is not a failure; instead, it can be perceived as an opportunity to adjust the recovery process to make it more efficient once again.
Despite these truths, you may be filled with regret, shame and even a feeling of hopelessness after relapse. Will you ever be able to remain on that recovery path? Those that accept the occurrence as a part of the process and use it as a learning tool to clarify their treatment plan will typically find that relapse is indeed a temporary step backward on a long journey to long-lasting sobriety.
WARNING SIGNS OF RELAPSE
There are many reasons why a person in recovery might relapse, but there are typically warning signs before the event:
- You are no longer making sobriety a priority in your life (stop going to 12-step meetings, etc.)
- You begin to think about the days when you were drinking or using
- You start hanging out with the people you previously drank or used with
- You don’t have a support system, or you stop relying on those people to help you maintain sobriety
- You aren’t tuned into your triggers and working to avoid them or find healthy ways to deal with them
In some cases, you may recognize the signs relapse might be imminent and stop it. Other times, you may find the slip occurs and you are faced with the prospect of getting back on track with your recovery.
STEPS TO TAKE AFTER RELAPSE
If you do experience a relapse, immediate response to the situation is the best way to regain your positive progress. There are proactive steps you can take to address your relapse:
- Take responsibility for the actions that led to the slip
- Determine that you will maintain your sobriety for the next 24 hours
- Tell someone else about the occurrence to establish accountability
- Seek out additional support through a meeting or by contacting your sponsor
- Identify the emotions surrounding the relapse, such as depression, and address them directly
- Accept it as a learning experience and make any necessary changes to avoid a relapse in the future
For some, a relapse is a single event that makes you feel guilty enough to stop right away. For others, it may become an ongoing problem that requires additional treatment to help you get back on the recovery path.
RETURNING TO TREATMENT
At Serenity Oaks Wellness Center, we work with clients that have experienced a relapse as well as those coming to treatment for the first time. We will help you identify the reasons behind your slip and deal with any underlying issues that might have led to the event. We see relapse as an opportunity to finetune your recovery process and minimize the risk of additional relapse in the future.
Don’t allow relapse to derail your recovery process. Contact Serenity Oaks Wellness Center today at 833-725-0071 and find out how we can get you back on the path to successful recovery and long-term sobriety.