Getting Help After A Relapse
You’ve worked so hard in order to overcome your problems, and now you feel you’re right back where you started.
You should never feel embarrassed that you might need help. It can be a normal part of the recovery process, and one that happens much more often than you may think. The important thing is to get the help you need immediately in order to get back on track as soon as possible. If you or a loved one has recently suffered a relapse, contact 12 Keys to move back into recovery today.
Even though you may have successfully completed a rehab program, you’ve learned the hard way that it doesn’t guarantee you’ll never have to worry about using again. Going back to rehab after relapse can be extremely hard to accept, but it’s very important to realize that just because you might have relapsed, that doesn’t mean you’ve failed. You now have an opportunity to learn even more about yourself and to take the steps needed to help ensure your long-term health.
Was This a Relapse or a Slip?
A relapse or slip is typically the result of some sort of trigger, and there can be many different causes. For example, you may have interacted with someone, or went to a former hangout, that brought to mind all the times you used in the past. You may have experienced some sort of emotional or physical trauma, or you might have had a memory of a time you abused drugs or alcohol. If you use drugs in these situations, but immediately get back on the path, call your sponsor and refocus on sobriety, you likely experienced a slip. If once becomes twice and twice becomes normal using again, you’re experiencing a relapse.
These are just a few of the more common issues that can contribute to a relapse:
- Hanging out with old friends from the time you used on a regular basis.
- Any sort of exposure to alcohol or drugs.
- Watching a beer commercial on television or seeing a syringe lying in a parking lot or street.
- Using other substances while trying to recover from an addiction. For example, if you are recovering from addiction to a certain drug, you might be at a higher risk of needing drug relapse help if you continue to drink alcohol.
- A conflict with a loved one, loss of a loved one, a divorce or any other major emotional change in your life.
There are certain warning signs that you may be at risk of a relapse. For instance, you might have a feeling of overconfidence or invincibility when it comes to your addiction. You might think you want to push the envelope and see what happens if you snort a line or shoot a small amount of heroin. Or, you might be feeling sorry for yourself, thinking that if you just used a little bit, everything would be okay.
You might be going through sleep changes or not having much of an appetite, or you might even notice changes in your personal hygiene routine. You might also be exhibiting sudden behavioral changes, such as missing work, school or important appointments.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to get help immediately! You can:
- Call your sponsor
- Reach out to a loved one in your support system
- Seek an out-patient rehab or counseling program
- Consider changing your surroundings to avoid temptation
The bottom line is, you need to get help right away if you think you could relapse.
What’s the Next Step? Should I Go Back to Rehab?
It’s only natural to feel a bit scared and to wonder where you go from here. Remember that no matter how guilty you feel about your relapse, you’re not alone. Many people have gone through the same thing and found their way back to recovery.
First, it’s critically important that you speak with someone so they can help you determine your situation in the most clear-headed, rational manner possible. This is no time to let emotions overrun your thinking. Talk to your support system, such as your family and friends (provided, of course, they aren’t the same friends who helped you get in trouble in the first place).
It can be tough to realize that the answer to the question “Should I go back to rehab?” is “yes.” It’s an incredibly tough thing, to realize you’ve made a mistake and that you need help to get back on the road to recovery. If you want the best chance to truly realize a successful recovery, that is a step you’ll need to take. It’s going to be incredibly hard work — just like the last time you went through rehab — but if you’re truly committed to the program, you’ll find it to be well worth the effort. One of the best ways of doing that is by turning to a program that features caring, qualified professionals who know what you’re going through and can help you overcome your problems.
You will more than likely be able to choose between a partial hospitalization program (PHP) or an intensive outpatient program (IOP) when returning to rehab. A PHP is a good option for someone who knows he or she needs more help for their addiction but who doesn’t need to be in a 24-hour program. A PHP can be a huge help for someone who is experiencing the symptoms of a relapse. Different facilities offer different PHPs, but they typically operate six days a week for an average of five hours a day.
An IOP, on the other hand, typically involves therapy sessions held several times a week. Some programs offer individual counseling while others involve group therapy. The purpose of an IOP is to help clients develop the skills they need to avoid another relapse, while learning different therapeutic techniques to help ensure a long-term recovery. Individual treatment plans are tailored to a client’s specific needs and are administered by trained professionals such as physicians, nurses, psychologists and others.
The Second Time in Rehab
It would be very easy for you to think that going through rehab again wouldn’t be worth the work. After all, you relapsed, so what makes you think it would work a second time? You might feel like you’re simply repeating the same actions and going through the motions.
However, doing just that is what will give you the best chance at experiencing a successful, long-term recovery. You’ll always learn something new, something you may have missed during your first rehab. You’ll learn new strategies for coping with the triggers that set off your relapse and how to get a firm grasp on any problems or issues that might be hurting your recovery. You’ll learn how to better communicate when something’s going wrong and how to better deal with stress. Your commitment to sobriety will be stronger than ever and you’ll be armed with the skills you need to make it happen.
A return to rehab for drug relapse help will be the best way to learn from your mistakes and to position yourself in the best way possible to keep them from happening again.
Relapse Is Common
Plenty of people have gone through the rehab process and suffered a setback, just like you. As unfortunate as it may be, the hard fact is that many people go through multiple relapses. But no matter how much shame you may be feeling, or whatever disappointment some of your loved ones might be expressing, you need to realize that relapse is not at all uncommon. The faster you realize this, the faster you can start working to get back on track to recovery.
A relapse isn’t the end — it’s the beginning of your road back. The most important thing is what you do after a relapse in order to get back to sobriety. As long as you’re committed to the process, there is no reason why you won’t be able to come back stronger than ever.
Use Your Support System
The people you surround yourself with will be critical for helping get you through this incredibly difficult time. The ones you’re closest to are going to be the ones who are the most affected by what you’ve experienced. Having to talk with your spouse, children, parents and friends about what has happened is going to be tough, because they will be just as disappointed as you are.
They could show that disappointment in some troubling ways, such as anger, hurt or confusion. If this happens, you’re going to have to be as strong as you possibly can and ask for their continued encouragement. Tell them you’re committed to a lasting recovery and then back up those words with actions. This is a good time to reach out to your sponsor for help talking to your family or unpacking the emotions you’re feeling after the encounter. Don’t let any negative feelings stop you from finding recovery now.
Suffering a relapse can be a devastating experience, but you can’t continue to beat yourself up over it. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. Admit what happened and figure out a way to deal with it in the best way possible.
Drug relapse help is there, if you only choose to take advantage of it. The professionals with 12 Keys Rehab are ready to help you get back on track and on the road toward a successful recovery. If you would like to learn more, please contact us online or give us a call at 866-480-4328. We’ll be here 24 hours a day, seven days a week.