Does Relapse Mean Failure?

If you are recovering from alcohol or drug abuse, then you understand how challenging staying sober can be. Even though you know you don’t ever want to return to the addict’s lifestyle, you sometimes still feel the old urges, bad feelings and persistent cravings. You also know that addiction is a chronic brain disease requiring a lifetime of treatment, and that relapse rates for addiction resemble other chronic diseases, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, are high.

The bottom line? Not only is relapse common — most people with addiction lapse or relapse — but tens of millions of Americans have recovered from chronic substance abuse. Relapse does not mean you have failed, but it does mean you need to reexamine the reasons you started using again.

Why Does Someone Relapse?

relapse supportYou might think that relapse begins the moment you take a drink of alcohol or a hit of drugs. But it really started when you relapsed emotionally — you weren’t using, but the old destructive feelings and actions that drive using have started again.

For example, you might have noticed that you were feeling angry or lonely when you decided to get high. Perhaps anxiety was a problem, and you progressed to mental relapse as you considered having a drink so you could get to sleep. Instead of asking for help, you took matters into your own hands. Before you knew what was happening, you physically relapsed, falling down the rabbit hole — and here you are.

Whether you experienced just one occasion of using (a lapse) or you’re using constantly (full-blown relapse), you haven’t failed! This is just one more step on the journey to your complete recovery. How do you get back on the road to sobriety? You admit you made a mistake. You ask for help. You call your sponsor, a family member or friend you trust, or you reach out to 12 Keys Rehab. You gather your courage, and you start from scratch — just like millions of others have done when they’ve made mistakes.

You Can Recover, and You Can Start Now

Just by reading about relapse you’re already committing mentally to getting sober again. You can further your commitment by:

  • Avoiding people and places where drinking and doing drugs are acceptable behaviors.
  • Identifying the feelings and behaviors you had before you relapsed.
  • Talking to someone in your support network about what happened, someone who can help you on your path to sobriety.
  • Talking to someone who has experienced relapse and is now sober.
  • Remind yourself why you hate using drugs and/or alcohol, and why staying sober is worth it.
  • Calling 12 Keys Rehab and asking about enrolling.

At 12 Keys Rehab, we help people who have relapsed into alcoholism or drug addiction every day, and we can help you, too. Our staff members include people who were once addicted to alcohol and drugs, and we know what you’re going through. We see miracles every day at 12 Keys. Now we want to see yours. For more information about 12 Keys Rehab, contact us today.

The Addiction Blog