What Should I Do If I Relapse?

relapseUnfortunately, relapse is often a reality of recovery. Up to 60% of patients who receive treatment for a substance use disorder will relapse within one year, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association — and the rate is even higher with drugs like heroin.

Addiction recovery is a lifelong healing process, filled with ups and downs, successes and disappointments and often instances of backsliding or relapse.

Here’s what to do (and what not to do) if you relapse:

  • Do take responsibility. Your first step is to recognize that you slipped up – and so it’s now time to redouble your efforts so you can better understand and control your cravings and triggers. This isn’t to say that you need to have the answers right now. You just need to be able to accept what happened and move forward with your recovery.
  • Don’t beat yourself up. It’s easy to heap blame on yourself about how you should have somehow been able to avoid using again – but that’s counterproductive. Along the same lines, it’s also a mistake to think that there’ s nothing you can do about it. Relapse is not a failure, but a sign that you need to evaluate and tweak your recovery strategy. It’s an opportunity to learn more about yourself and your addiction.
  • Do seek professional help. Working with an addiction professional can help you better understand the root cause of your slip-up and equip you with coping skills to prevent another relapse in the future. This is also the time to lean on your support network, so go to a 12-step meeting or talk to a sponsor or loved one. For someone who has relapsed multiple times, more intensive treatment is likely required.

Get Support at Synergy
If you or a loved one is seeking an individualized addiction treatment plan, look no further. Our programs and activities are designed to give each client the tools he or she needs to prevent relapse and succeed at lasting recovery. To learn more, call today: 888-267-8070.

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