What happens if you relapse?

Most addiction recovery plans and treatment options focus on one thing: preventing a victim of addiction from ever touching the substance they were addicted to again. Actually, if the plan works well enough, the ultimate goal is to dissuade the victim from having any inclination to touch any illegal substance, and to have no interest in other legal substances that could lead them back down the wrong path, like alcohol or nicotine.
One of the things that is not talked about, however,  is what happens if an individual relapses. Many people can be so terrified of having to repeat therapy, or of having failed, that they never stop to consider that a relapse is in no way the worst thing in the world. In the unfortunate event of a relapse, the most important thing to do is assess what happened, and why,
Studies indicate that relapses most often occur when an individual has not been fully committed to the treatment plan or program they are a part of. This may not necessarily mean that the individual has not attended meetings or tried their hardest to participate. Instead, it could mean that even though they were physically at the meetings, or were going through the motions of recovery, their mind was elsewhere, or they were not totally engaged. An individual must be totally locked into the recovery process in order to stay on the straight and narrow. Remember, addiction recovery is all about training the mind to resist temptation, triggers, and the like. If your mind is not focused, it can quite easily slip into the same patterns it used to.
It is important to consider whether the relapse was an isolated incident, or if it included binging or more than one instance. Research indicates that individuals that may have slipped just once do not always have to return to therapy for intensive treatment. Sometimes, taking a deep breath, clearing your mind, and forcing yourself to refocus can be enough to put that behind you and not do it again.
If your relapse did include more than one time (or several times), or if you feel like you have completely fallen off of the wagon, it is time to return to your addiction recovery center. This time, professionals will probably opt for a more behavioral approach that focuses on strengthening the brain’s decision-making processes and minimizing the effects of old triggers. They may also decide to focus on uncovering some of the reasons that you may have slipped, like old baggage, regret, or guilt.