Most people who relapse during or after drug and alcohol rehab feel like a failure. The first thing to remember though is that this is absolutely not the case. Relapse is a completely normal part of recovery. Most recovering patients will relapse several times throughout their program and even in the future. The difference, however, is learning how to deal with it.
Relapse is actually considered a part of recovery by almost all alcohol and drug treatment centers. And to reiterate, it does not make you weak nor a failure: in fact, it is a sign that you are succeeding. The most important thing here is having the will to continue abstaining.
Why to patients relapse?
A number of things can lead to a relapse and cause you to start using drugs and/or alcohol again. Factors can include depression, anxiety, fear or stress. These combined with certain situations (social anxiety at a party where alcohol is present, for example) or intense pain that cannot be treated without medication.
While it is not always possible to avoid such situations or even emotions, there are ways of dealing with them. Learning to manage your emotions can help, but you also need to understand where things are heading and stop before they get the better of you.
Understanding the Signs of Relapse
Consider your last relapse experience and what might have brought it about. Now have a look at other warning factors that may have contributed to you using drugs or alcohol again. These could include things like romanticizing the days when you took drugs (talking about how it made you feel with a feeling of nostalgia), stopping your attendance at 12-step meetings or acting “dry drunk”. “Dry drunk” refers to the way someone acts when they’re drunk (often irritable and moody), except without the alcohol. These behaviors are completely normal.
Taking Action against Relapse
The important thing here is to break the pattern when you see these signs – if you recognize them. For many people, this is often the best time to take advantage of counseling. Some may even need an extra push. Another important step to take is telling a loved one. If you are lucky enough to have people who support you, they will be understanding and can help you to avoid using again.
Of course, it’s not as simple as this but it is possible. Changing your outlook can also help immensely: if you imagine that you are stronger after each relapse and imagine that the likelihood is getting smaller and smaller, you will be able to focus on that a lot more. This takes time and dedication and accepting that you may relapse again will help decrease the feelings of disappointment that you may feel.
Open and Honest Communication
You need to be honest with yourself before you can communicate honestly with your support network. Have faith that they will understand. This can be a scary thought for some people, but the right support network will allow you to express your thoughts and feelings in your own time. Having people you can tell when you do relapse and start using is good because you’ll have a safe place to go back to. Such a level of acceptance can make the journey easier.
Drug and alcohol rehab is a long and complex process. There is a lot of work that you need to do on yourself and set backs will happen from time to time. The important thing is to not let relapse define you. Instead, always be looking ahead and knowing that you can take it one step at a time.
His House Rehab offers industry leading Drug Addiction Treatment Programs. We were founded in 1994 and we base our Drug and Alcohol Treatment programs on five key principles: commitment, honesty, integrity, respect, and service. These five principles guide us in all that we do and all the care we provide. Contact us today to see how we can help you or your loved one at (888) 681-4594.