The Recovery Process: What to Do After Relapse

After a relapse happens, it can be hard to know what steps to take next. It is important to remember that you are not alone in your recovery journey. Knowing what comes after a slip-up can make all the difference in getting you back on the right track.

First and foremost, you need to forgive yourself for the mistake. Relapsing does not mean you’ve failed; it is simply part of the recovery process. You must accept that this setback has occurred and move on.

Then, start by looking at why you relapsed in the first place. Several factors could have led to the slip-up, and in this article, we’ll look at some possibilities.

The Recovery Process for Addiction Treatment

Recovery from addiction should be viewed as a journey rather than a destination; it requires consistency and dedication to overcome any obstacles that may appear along the way.

During this process, there will be several moments of success and failure. Please recognize that these moments are part of addiction treatment and recovery and do not define your entire journey, nor do they predict the final outcome.

Addiction recovery is not linear, and it is essential to remember that there will be ups and downs. There is no one-size-fits-all path to recovery. During times of hardship, you must do your best to stay positive and remind yourself of your long-term goals. Why did you start this journey in the first place? What can you do for yourself to make it easier to get through?

Why Did the Relapse Happen?

There are a few common reasons why relapse occurs:

Lack of Support

During the addiction recovery process, support is key. Lacking a solid sober support network or people to talk to can lead to relapse. Building a supportive group of friends, family members, or counselors who can be there for you is essential for preventing future relapses and setting you on the path to success. For instance, if you are feeling overwhelmed or having a hard time coping with cravings, your support team will be there for you to provide comfort, understanding, and valuable coping mechanisms. Stay on top of your mental health and share any internal struggles with someone you can trust.

Unaddressed Emotions

Sometimes relapse is caused by underlying mental health and emotional issues you’ve yet to deal with. What unresolved emotional issues are going on in your life that may be contributing to your addiction? Brainstorming ideas and writing them down will help you to address them later in therapy or a support group. For instance, you may find yourself reaching for a drink or drug to mask negative feelings.

Environmental Triggers

Environmental triggers and external pressures are often a cause of relapse. Triggers could be anything from people, places, or situations you associate with substance abuse. Withdrawal symptoms can also be quite triggering.

You need to identify these triggers, write them down, and consciously avoid them. Additionally, having an action plan for when you encounter these triggers is essential. For example, you can pick up the phone and call a friend or counselor for support. You could also try taking deep breaths or going for a walk.

Change in Routine

Life events such as starting a new job, relocation, or even the death of a loved one can cause stress and lead to relapse. Take some time, become aware of any changes that may occur, and take extra steps to ensure your recovery stays on track during these transitions. This might include talking to a therapist, joining an online support group, or attending 12-step meetings.

Moving Forward After Relapse

Relapse can be a challenging experience, but it does not mean all hope is lost. It is essential to stay positive and remind yourself of your long-term goals for recovery. Talk to your doctor or counselor about any addiction-related issues and find the resources you need to get back on track with your recovery journey. Additionally, reaching out to a support group or attending 12-step meetings can help you stay focused and motivated.

Types of Recovery Programs

Several types of recovery programs out there are designed to help you create a personalized relapse prevention plan for drug or alcohol addiction. These may include:

• Inpatient treatment programs

Outpatient treatment programs

• Support groups

• Therapeutic interventions such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)

• Drug and alcohol addiction 12-step treatment programs

Sober Living Programs

Take some time, and even shop around, to find the right type of program that fits your individual needs and goals. Each program focuses on different aspects of recovery, so it is best to explore all the options before making a decision.

12-Step Programs

Let’s take a closer look at 12-step programs, often seen as the “gold standard” of recovery.

12-step programs focus on personal responsibility and accountability for one’s actions. They encourage individuals to take an active role in their recovery journey by sharing experiences with other group members and working through 12 steps that lead to sobriety together. Additionally, these groups provide a safe, supportive space for individuals to share their feelings and find support from peers in similar situations.

No matter what type of recovery treatment program you choose, remember that relapse is not the end of your journey. There are many tools and resources available to help you stay on track with your goals. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to prevent future relapse, but you will find that it is possible to achieve lasting sobriety. The key is to be patient with yourself and remember that recovery from substance abuse is an ongoing process. You will encounter several challenges along the way, but staying positive and reaching out for support can make all the difference in your journey toward recovery.

At-Home Coping Mechanisms

Even with the support of family and friends, there are some additional coping mechanisms you can practice at home to aid you on your journey.

Track Your Progress

Keeping track of your progress can provide motivation and help keep track of your recovery, relapses, triggers, and successes! Make a list of goals you want to achieve in your recovery journey, and write down your accomplishments (big or small) as they occur. Also, consider journaling your day-to-day feelings to help you process any thoughts or emotions you may be dealing with.

Exercise and Healthy Eating Habits

Regular exercise is a fantastic way to stay physically active while providing a powerful outlet for stress. Remember while you’re exercising to maintain a healthy diet. Providing your body with the nutrients it needs for recovery will help reduce cravings. Learning to make healthy meals can also be an excellent distraction during challenging moments.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness practices such as meditation and yoga help people to stay focused on the present moment and reduce their overall stress levels. Taking a few moments each day to relax and focus on your breath can help you stay centered and manage any cravings. You can meditate at home, in the bath, steam room, or even during a massage.

Remember, practicing self-care during recovery is essential to helping rebuild your life in the way you want. This could include taking time for yourself, engaging in activities that bring joy, or talking with friends and family about your unique experience.

The Bottom Line

Recovery is a lifelong journey, but anyone can do it with the support of their family and friends and professionals specializing in substance addiction treatment. With the proper resources and guidance, anyone can overcome addiction and achieve a fulfilling life.

New Life House is here to provide the support and guidance needed for your successful addiction recovery and relapse prevention. Sober Living is often the best choice to help someone struggling with drug or alcohol abuse get back on their feet and rebuild their lives. At New Life, we provide structure, discipline, clinical support, and community to create a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to individual needs. Our experienced team of professionals is committed to helping individuals achieve their long-term sobriety goals.

Last Updated on December 30, 2022


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