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After achieving sobriety, relapse is still an ongoing risk for many individuals. Relapse happens for more than half of all people who complete the withdrawal process from drugs and alcohol. While relapse is an obstacle, it doesn’t mean that recovery is off the table forever. By learning how to deal with drug relapse, you prepare to help yourself, or a loved one get back on track.
The most important thing to do when you deal with relapse is to remain hopeful. Far too many people relapse or have a loved one relapse and then lose hope altogether. It is true that facing an alcohol or drug relapse can be overwhelming. However, relapse is not the end of the road.
Imagine that you struggled with a physical disease like cancer. If you had treatment, but cancer returned, what would you do? In almost all cases, people would head back to the doctor and try something new. Relapse is not a ticket to give up, because total recovery can still happen.
Relapse often happens because treatment only focused on the physical symptoms of drug addiction. Completing withdrawal and breaking free from the chemical bonds of drug abuse is great, but it is only part of the puzzle. Psychological drug dependence can be what leads to an eventual relapse. With that in mind, try to identify the triggers that led to your relapse.
Some clients might feel stressed out or overwhelmed, and they will turn to drug use as a coping mechanism. Others might struggle with ongoing depression and anxiety. If you can identify these types of triggers, then you’ll have a better chance of avoiding another relapse.
If you struggle with a drug relapse, you might feel disappointed. While that is normal, remember to be kind to yourself. Drug addiction is not a choice, nor is it something that you can control. Drug addiction is an illness, and relapse happens.
If your loved one is having a relapse, try not to make them feel worse than they probably already do. There’s a good chance that they are already beating themselves up about getting off track. If they are coming to you with their problem, then they know that something needs to change. Rather than getting angry, show kindness and help them find the next step on their journey to recovery.
Many people who go through a drug relapse want to keep it a secret. Individuals might feel like they can get back on track slowly, or they might believe that they can control their ongoing drug abuse. However, that is not the case. If you relapse, you’re still dealing with addiction.
The good news is that no one has to go through relapse or recovery on their own. If you have family or close friends that you can talk to, let them know that you have relapsed. You might be surprised at how helpful and kind these people can be. You might also want to head back to support groups or contact some of your peers you’ve met in previous treatment programs.
When you’re dealing with a drug relapse, you ultimately need to get professional support. At Beaches Recovery, rehab programs are open to those who have relapsed once or more in the past. If the first time through treatment wasn’t adequate for a lifetime, then Beaches Recovery can explore any underlying issues that prevented lifelong sobriety.
For clients, treatment should be comprehensive and customized. That means offering a wide range of therapies, just some of which include the following:
Drug relapse doesn’t mean that you can’t eventually work toward lifelong sobriety. At Beaches Recovery, you can get the support you need to break free from drug addiction once and for all. Call 866-605-0532 to learn more about relapse prevention.