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What Should I Do If I Relapse?

Relapse doesn’t have to be part of the recovery process, but it is very common. When men and women in recovery experience a relapse, they may feel as though treatment did not work or that they will never be able to live a life of sobriety. However, countless men and women in recovery have experienced a relapse at some point along their journey but are now living happy, joyous, and free lives of long-term sobriety.

Addiction is an incurable disease that requires consistent maintenance. Like other disease, the symptoms of addiction can recur. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “The chronic nature of the disease means that relapsing to drug abuse at some point is not only possible, but likely. Relapse rates (i.e., how often symptoms recur) for people with addiction and other substance use disorders are similar to relapse rates for other well-understood chronic medical illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma, which also have both physiological and behavioral components.” Relapse rates for addiction are between 40 and 60 percent, making it a common experience for those attempting to achieve sobriety.

A relapse does not indicate that a person will never be able to achieve sobriety in the future. The NIDA explains, “Treatment of chronic diseases involves changing deeply imbedded behaviors, and relapse does not mean treatment has failed. For a person recovering from addiction, lapsing back to drug use indicates that treatment needs to be reinstated or adjusted or that another treatment should be tried.” This, too, applies to our recovery program after treatment. We can usually look back at what occurred and what things we were or were not doing that contributed to our relapse. Perhaps we were not attending meetings, helping other people, praying, meditating, or any number of things that we should have been doing regularly in order to manage our disease. There is often some aspect of our treatment or recovery program that we were not fully engaging with. The knowledge we gain from a relapse can make our next attempt at sobriety much more effective. We should do our best to summon the courage to once again reenter treatment or our recovery program.

Your life doesn’t have to be held back by the chains of addiction. You can make the decision to seek help today and begin building a brighter future. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, brings together the highest quality behavioral health and addictions specialists, holistic experts, and spiritual guides to help clients develop all the tools necessary to achieve and maintain sobriety. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431