The thought that “Relapse is part of recovery” echoes off the walls in most addiction treatment programs, recovery rooms and group meetings. Although this thought holds some truth for many recovering individuals, knowing what to do if it happens will prevent the problem from spiraling out of control.
Whichever the substance of abuse is, whether alcohol or drugs, when your recovery has been compromised getting back on the path can be very challenging. But being in control and putting your “after relapse plan” into action will help getting back on track a reality.
We understand that accepting the fact that you’ve relapsed is hard. It is not easy to accept that all your hard work did not “pay-off”. It brings back feelings of failure. The main challenge here is to avoid negative thinking altogether. Stop feeling sorry, thinking you are messed up or doomed as many chronic relapsers call themselves. Here is where the saying “relapse is part of recovery” comes into play. The fact is you’ve made a mistake and it’s OK. Nobody is infallible. There is a silver lining in every mistake and that is you know now what does not work and you now have better information on how to avoid it in the future. You, like many others will get through it as well if do not quit and JUST KEEP ON WORKING AT IT.
Resuming your path to recovery starts with accepting responsibility. Yes, outside pressures may have triggered your relapse but the fact is you are the one who calls the shots regarding with your recovery. TAKE CHARGE NOW. Take immediate action.
- Start Strong. Stay Strong (this is worth repeating)
- Reach Out to Your sponsor
- Reach Out for Family support and to Addiction Support Groups
- Explore Additional Treatment Options
If you have a sponsor, he or she will be able to help you make an immediate plan of action. A supportive family member or friend that is prepared to be a positive force can also offer the guidance needed for you to get back on track. Depending on the severity of your relapse, it may be advisable to return to a residential rehab program or an outpatient addiction treatment program. BE POSITIVE. Although going back to treatment might feel like you are starting all over again this couldn’t be further from the truth. You have achieved many mile stones and acquired tools that just might need reinforcement or adjustment. Addiction isn’t an on/off switch. For most individuals it takes constant self-awareness and mental discipline to fight the bad thoughts and behaviors associated with addiction.
“You have to be completely honest with yourself and trust the process. The right program is essential and AA and NA may not work for everyone — it’s up to you to decide what you need to get and stay sober. Stay connected and stay humble. Once you get cocky, you are at risk of relapsing but if you do relapse, don’t give up, just get back on track and believe in what you are doing.”- Heidi D., in recovery
If you have relapsed Florida Center for Recovery is here to offer drug addiction or alcohol addiction help with a specialized program for chronic relapsers and treatment for co-occurring mental health issues. If you or someone you love could benefit from addiction treatment whether due to a relapse or not, please contact Florida Center for Recovery at (800) 851-3291 and speak with an intake counselor. We can provide information about the alcohol and drug treatment programs at our addiction rehab facility and answer questions you might have about addiction and recovery.
Take Charge. It is Your Life.
Dr. Balta is the Medical Director at FCR for more than 10 years. Dr. Balta is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, Certified Psychoanalyst. As well, as having Psychiatric Training at The Albert Einstein School of Medicine Psychiatric Residency Program In New York City and Psychoanalytic Training at The William Alanson White Institute in New York City. While working in New York City, gained funding Grants for the treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders from SAMHSA , HRSA and the City of New York.