Recovering from addiction is a long and complicated process.
No matter how dedicated you are, or how much you want to be sober, there is a chance that you will relapse.
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What happens if I relapse?
If you relapse, you may immediately feel guilt and shame. You might also feel like giving into addiction is easier than fighting it.
It is important to use this relapse constructively. Learn from it by reconsidering your relapse prevention plan, your triggers and your coping strategies for cravings.
Delving deeper into the cause of your relapse is a good starting point for a recovery that will allow you to bounce back even stronger than ever.
Read more about how to avoid relapse and stay sober after treatment.
Causes of a relapse:
- Not prioritising or fully committing to sobriety
- Lack of support networks
- No relapse prevention plan
- Not being prepared for post-treatment life and its complications
- Exposure to triggers
- Relationship problems
- Peer pressure
- Physical or psychological pain
Types of relapse:
Traditional relapse: A conscious decision to use alcohol or drugs
‘Freelapse’: An accidental incident in which a person does not intend to use alcohol or drugs
There are 3 stages to relapse:
- Emotional Relapse – Failing to cope with emotions in a healthy way, such as isolating yourself or not sharing your feelings with others.
- Mental Relapse – You will be aware of having conflicting feelings about being sober. Part of you might want to remain sober, but you might also be fighting cravings and thinking about ways to relapse.
- Physical Relapse – Actually using alcohol or drugs
What happens if I have relapsed?
If you relapse, the first thing to consider is whether you need to return to rehab for another treatment program.
If your relapse has been a single incident and you remain committed to recovering, then you may not need to return to an inpatient centre.
If you have fallen back into a continued pattern of drug or alcohol abuse, then you might need to return to residential care to undertake rehab treatment again.
Don’t be afraid to seek help
Recovering from addiction is a long and hard process, so nobody will judge you if you have relapsed.
It is important to get the help you need, whether it is support from family or friends, or seeking medical help, you should not suffer in silence.
There is a wide range of treatment options available to you that can help you recover.
What to do after a relapse:
- Make sure you attend self-help groups, such as AA/NA , other 12-step and SMART programs.
- Avoid triggers by removing yourself from people, places and situations that remind you of substance use.
- Set healthy boundaries by avoiding contact with those who negatively impact your sobriety.
- Self-care is an important way of taking care of yourself physically and emotionally.
- Develop a strong relapse prevention plan.
The sooner you take steps to recover from your relapse, the easier it will be to bounce back and be in control once again.
What are my chances of staying sober?
Although there is a chance of relapse, if you take full advantage of the tools you learn in rehab and ensure your support network is strong, you have a very good chance of staying sober and making a full recovery.
73.4% of those who have attended treatment remain totally abstinent from all drugs and alcohol.
Read our success stories to see how treatment and aftercare have helped so many others.
Wherever you are in your journey to recovery, our helpline is confidential and available 24-hours a day.
Call us now: 0808 1150 446