What Do I Do if I Relapse?

Relapse is a frightening prospect. We have worked so hard to achieve sobriety and the thought of entering back into the world of addiction seems unthinkable, but it does happen. If we do relapse, we need to keep in mind that it does not mean we are unable to ever recover. Rather, we must look at why we slipped and do everything we can to gain the strength to once again reenter our program of recovery.
Addiction is a disease and relapse rates are similar to the recurrence of symptoms with other diseases. About 40 to 60 percent of people suffering from addiction will relapse after treatment, similar to the rates of symptom recurrence in hypertension, diabetes, and asthma. While relapse is preventative by adherence to recovery programs, it is a part of many people’s recovery stories. Relapse does not mean that treatment does not work. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Treatment of chronic diseases involves changing deeply imbedded behaviors, and relapse does not mean treatment has failed. For a person recovering from addiction, lapsing back to drug use indicates that treatment needs to be reinstated or adjusted or that another treatment should be tried.” Generally, after one relapses they come to realize that they were not adhering to the principles of their recovery program as much as they could. Relapse happens before we ever pick up a drink or drug—we stop going to meetings, stop working our recovery program, and begin to engage in the same behaviors we engaged in during our time in active addiction. The NIDA explains, “Science has taught us that stress, cues linked to the drug experience (such as people, places, things, and moods), and exposure to drugs are the most common triggers for relapse. Medications are being developed to interfere with these triggers to help patients sustain recovery.” When we relapse, we can usually see where we strayed and how we brought ourselves closer to our past addiction, making relapse almost inevitable. However, we can take these as lessons to carry with us when we decide, once again, to enter into recovery and begin seeking a life of sobriety.

Your story can be one of recovery from the suffering of addiction and alcoholism. You can make the decision to seek help and begin building a brighter future of hope, faith, and courage. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment center in beautiful Laguna Beach, offers a variety of cutting-edge treatment methods to give you all the tools needed to achieve sobriety and prevent relapse after treatment. For more information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777