5 Tips to Strengthen Your Recovery After a Relapse

At the time, they felt either overwhelmed, scared, disappointed, confused, or simply unsure of what to do next. They can genuinely identify with what you’re going through and know just how difficult it is to reach out for help. Now is a chance to strengthen and further that freedom and joy that only those in recovery can truly understand. Regardless of where and how you do your best self-reflection, ask yourself what led you to drink or use drugs again.

  • Many people with a mental or behavioral health issue will self-medicate, which leads to addiction.
  • Addiction is a chronic disease, and recovery is a lifelong journey that has its ups and downs.
  • This level of self-accountability will also sustain your motivation during the initial stages after a relapse.
  • Therapists are qualified to see and understand the sources of our thoughts and behaviors.
  • Thinking about everything you have going for you will give you more confidence going forward.
  • His interests include hiking with the family, reading fiction , American and British film classics, and his beloved dogs, Toby and Coco, both rescued from the local pound.

Referring to your recovery plan often and making changes as necessary with the help of your caregivers and support system can help you stay the course. After leaving treatment, it’s important to find ways to keep yourself busy. Spending too much time alone what to do after a relapse with your thoughts is one of the reasons why people are compelled to start using drugs and alcohol again. Focus on finding new hobbies, whether it’s art, exercise, cooking, volunteering, or anything that occupies your mind and makes you feel good.

What to Do After a Relapse: 10 Steps to Get You Back on Track

Instead, try a more adaptive strategy and find new supports that protect you mentally, emotionally, and physically. Choose a long-term treatment program — Understanding that recovery is a long-term process will help you mentally prepare for the journey ahead. By committing to a long-term program, you’re committing to your success in recovery.

  • It is entirely possible to have a lapse in your sobriety and quickly return to an active and healthy life in recovery.
  • For example, if you had an addiction to opioids, a relapse is a return to using those same drugs.
  • You’re bound to experience guilt or the feeling that you’ll never fully recover.
  • Getting appropriate treatment for co-occurring mental health and medical conditions can also help reduce your risk of relapse.
  • Plenty of people have to try several times to get sober but eventually succeed.
  • After a relapse, you must take action to ensure you don’t return to active addiction.

You may need to start small and build up, but even exercising three times a day for 10 minutes can greatly improve the state of your well-being. Diet is just as important during your treatment, especially if you haven’t been eating well. By abstaining from processed sugars, caffeine and by making sure you’re eating plenty of vitamins and minerals, you may be able to feel better emotionally and physically. You can read more about diet and addiction recovery at MedlinePlus.gov.

Connect with Extra Mile Recovery

Although lapses can be temporary, it’s important to recognize that they can also progress into relapse if left unaddressed. Removing the stigma, shame, and ego from a relapse can help you understand your needs and move forward in recovery. Though relapse can be a traumatic experience, it gives you the opportunity to learn about yourself, your disease and what’s required to take back control.

Viewed at with reference to our topic of addiction relapse, that’s a huge number of people potentially going through this same event as you. When such a significant event occurs, it is not just the event itself that directly impacts us. When we are talking about relapse, our reaction can make a world of difference. However, there are those in addiction recovery that never get over the impact of their first relapse, and the plethora of intense emotions that come with it. The longer you continue to use your substance of choice, the more difficult it will become to stop. Chances are high that you didn’t achieve sobriety all by yourself.

What Happens If I Relapse?

After a relapse, you know what works and what does not work in recovery. Now, you have a better sense of your triggers, know who you can go to, and what you can do. The addiction recovery process after a relapse might be easier than early recovery.

Getting in touch with your support system will help you remember that relapses can be overcome and you have a whole community ready to support you. Isolation and limited contact with friends, family, and support network. Getting an outside perspective can help you to put your relapse episode in context and reframe relapse with a professional perspective on what happened and how you can do better. Therapists and counselors are acutely aware of relapse’s effects on the body and mind. They have specialized training to help people recover from these episodes and return to recovery. Looking at your progress over time rather than focusing on the relapse episode in isolation can show you how far you’ve come and provide hope that you’ll be able to do even better in the future.

It’s important to understand that relapse doesn’t mean your drug or alcohol abuse treatment plan has failed. Consider relapse to be a natural stage of recovery and don’t let it keep you down. You might consider addiction treatment as a way of learning relapse prevention. After all, you are trying to learn healthy ways of living without alcohol or drug use during treatment. After a relapse, taking steps to get back on track toward long-term sobriety is essential.

  • Most people don’t just suddenly relapse; it’s something they build up to gradually over days, weeks, or even months.
  • Because for you to relapse, you must have attained sobriety.
  • We offer recovery resources for you as well such as family therapy and family education so that you can heal alongside your loved one.
  • Mental relapse is the second stage of the process and is much more difficult to come back from.
  • Nurturing healthy relationships with people who practice sobriety or are also in recovery ensures that when an urge to use comes on, you have people to contact for help.

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