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Relapsed? Don’t Give Up Hope!

For many, relapse is part of the recovery process. Relapse does not equate to failure.  It is simply a setback on your successful road to long-term recovery. 

June 11, 2019
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Ok, you’ve relapsed. Right now, you may feel defeated, thinking you will never maintain sobriety. You may think you’re alone in this world and telling anyone about your fall will cause shame and disgust. Might as well go back to your old habits, right?

Stop thinking like this!

For many, relapse is part of the recovery process. Relapse does not equate to failure.  It is simply a setback on your successful road to long-term recovery.  In order to succeed, you will need to trust the process.  Allow yourself the opportunity to get back up again and continue on your path of sobriety.  In doing so, you will find long-term solutions that are unique to you and your journey.

Instead of admitting defeat, ask yourself – where do I go from here?

Relapse is Not a Sign of Failure

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 19.7 million Americans ages 12 and older have battled a substance use disorder in 2017. Of the 4 million who receive treatment for the disease, an estimated 40 to 60 percent experience a relapse – similar to rates of relapse for other chronic diseases such as hypertension or asthma.

Why does relapse happen? There is no single answer to this question. It can be something as simple as missing a meeting or having a stressful day. The critical thing to keep in mind is relapse is not a sign of failure – it is a common occurrence that can happen to anyone. Think of it as not a sign of defeat, but rather a learning experience.

What to Do If You Do Relapse

Your first action is recognizing what type of relapse this is. Is this a one-time lapse in judgment? Or have you gone back to using every chance you get?

Once you know whether it was a lapse or a full-blown relapse, ask yourself what was the cause? By figuring out what resulted in the relapse can help you avoid the behavior in the future. Some common signs include:

  • Becoming lax in your sobriety. Sobriety is a long-term commitment, one that you need to work at every day. You need to attend meetings and commit to therapy and counseling. Failing to do so means you’ll lose those tools you need to prevent old habits from taking over.
  • No support system. We all need a support network, especially if you are newly sober. You want someone to not only guide you in times of trouble but can hold you accountable for your actions.
  • Not ready for sobriety. Maybe you don’t think you were prepared to return to your life. Or perhaps the transition was harder than you thought it would be. Many factors can test your sobriety, such as family issues, toxic relationships, and unhealthy daily routines.

The best way to protect yourself from a relapse is to have a prevention plan in place. You need to be aware of the factors that will lead to your old behaviors, and you should have ways to fight these harmful influences — for example, finding someone to talk to when you’re frustrated or stressed out or practicing coping skills.

Do I Have to Go Back Into Treatment?

If your relapse was a one-time accident, even if you feel like you’re back at square one, it does not mean you need to return to an addiction treatment center. Instead, remember all the successes you’ve had to get back on the path of recovery. Just recognizing your mistake is progress!

If it’s a full-blown relapse, then further treatment may be needed. Wavelengths Recovery is here to help. Whether it was a one-time mistake or a return to your old habits, we understand that mistakes can happen. We’re committed to helping every past, present, and future client overcoming the grips of addiction and helping them reclaim their lives.

The longer you wait, the harder it is to recover from your mistakes. Remember, you are not a failure, and you are not alone in your journey. We are here to help you in your time of need. Contact Wavelengths Recovery today and let us show you the way to a better tomorrow.




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Warren Boyd
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