There’s always the possibility of a relapse after addiction treatment. The rate of relapse varies based on the substance involved. The rates for alcoholics, for instance, can range from 30 to 70 percent. Some recovering addicts have underlying psychological disorders that can contribute to a relapse.
Contributing drug relapse factors may also include:
- Social pressures (or being encouraged by enablers)
- Easy access to the addictive substance
- Stress at home or on the job
If I Relapse After Addiction Treatment, What Should I Do?
If you relapse after addiction treatment, it doesn’t mean that the initial recovery was a failure – it just means that recovery isn’t complete yet. While it’s understandable to feel ashamed or embarrassed following the return to previous habits, this shouldn’t be a hindrance to seeking further assistance. While a relapse after addiction treatment doesn’t always require re-admittance, it often includes a comprehensive evaluation to determine what triggered it. If you do have this experience, the following steps can be taken:
- Contact Your Follow-up Counselor or Sponsor: You should have been given some contact information following your discharge. This person should be able to help you decide what next steps are best for you.
- Refocus: Take a moment to breathe and relax. If you’ve been keeping a journal as part of your recovery, take a moment to express your thoughts and frustrations as you regroup and refocus.
- Start Again: In some cases, your initial program may not have worked out for you because it wasn’t structured based on your needs, so consider looking for another inpatient program that’s more specific to your needs.
- Seek Reassurance: Friends and family members can be a source of comfort and support if a relapse happens. If you can’t get reassurance from others, reassure yourself and realize that a setback isn’t the same as failing.
- Reflect and Learn: Since you’ve already been through a treatment program, you have an understanding of what likely triggered your relapse. Be honest with yourself and determine what likely influenced your setback.
Think of a Relapse After Addiction Treatment as a Temporary Detour
Realize that you are not going to be judged if you return to an inpatient facility following treatment. Relapse is not unique to you and can happen to anyone recovering from a pattern of addiction and substance abuse. The key to avoiding relapse after addiction treatment is the successful management of addiction. If this does happen, it should be viewed as a temporary detour on the road to recovery.