Addiction relapse happens more often than you think. Most people mistakenly think that a person can go to rehab and come out on the other side after a month or two, “cured’. If you have experience with addiction, you know that it is an ongoing battle. Not only that, but relapse statistics show that it is more common to relapse than it is to stay sober.
With that being said, the key to getting better is how you come back from a relapse. If one happens, you can’t despair. Instead, it is important to look towards the future optimistically and focus on getting your feet back under yourself, no matter how bad things got. You can’t change the past, so all you can do is keep moving forward and keeping the faith.
Addiction Relapse Can Happen Fast
Anyone who is in recovery has the potential to relapse. The chances of addiction relapse go down with the more sober time a person has. It is expected that up to 80% of people in recovery will relapse in their first year of sobriety. After that, the number goes down significantly. After five years, the chances of relapse are much lower.
It is important to recognize the signs of relapse in yourself so that you can do everything you can to prevent one. Knowing what your triggers are will help you to avoid them. Triggers are people, places, and things that make you think about using drugs or drinking. The more you can stay away from them, the better off you will be.
Also, different life events can cause you to relapse as well. For example, it is suggested that you stay away from new romantic relationships early in recovery, only because they will take your focus away from your own well being. Also, relationships can be tough, and with them, they bring emotionally trying times. Something like a bad fight or breakup can push you to relapse, so it is important not to set yourself up for that.
When Addiction Relapse Happens
If it happens, it is important to put a stop to it as soon as possible. The first thing to do is get help immediately. Get yourself into a detox center where you can withdraw from your drug of choice under medical supervision. This process usually takes a few days and will help you get over the hump of detox because doing it on your own can be really difficult.
A good next step is to get yourself into a treatment center. At the very least, see about doing an outpatient program so that you can continue to get help and go to work or school at the same time. If you think you need it, a full-time program might be more your speed and the best thing to help you kick the habit again. Either way, you need to make your recovery a priority and make sure you are putting as much time as possible into it.
It is important to keep facing forward and not continually beat yourself up for your past mistakes. You are human, and it is normal to slip up. This doesn’t make it ok, but as long as you make positive changes and figure out what you can do to change in the future, you’ll be on a better path.
Addiction relapse doesn’t make you a bad person or mean that you will never be able to stay sober. Just look at it as a learning opportunity for improvement to better yourself in the future. The more you can figure out about why you relapsed, the better you’ll be able to be in the future by just makes small changes and staying focused on your recovery.