Staying Committed to Sobriety After a Relapse
Many people recovering from addiction face a consistently high risk of relapse, but overcoming a relapse is possible with the right sober support network and counseling.
Recovery is a difficult journey and a lifelong one at that. Many addicts have felt the same feelings and had the same fears. One of those fears is the fear of relapsing. The difficult road it took to get to sobriety can be crushed when you think that there could be a moment when it all goes “down the drain”. It is common for one to relapse at some point after getting clean. It is said, it is a part of lifelong recovery, part of the journey. Life is a learning process and recovery, relapse, making mistakes, starting over, etc. is a part of that process. It takes
A relapse is when a person returns to using drugs or alcohol after a period of sobriety. Many people recovering from addiction face a consistently high risk of relapse because chronic substance use can result in certain structural and functional brain alterations that persist well beyond the period that sobriety was first obtained.
Two Types of Relapses in Addiction
There are two actual types of relapse, one being the more “traditional” relapse which occurs when a person knowingly uses a drink or a drug to, for example, calm themselves down from a long day at work. The second type of relapse is called “freelapse” which is when someone unintentionally uses a drink or a drug. This could happen when someone is given alcohol when thought that the beverage was non-alcoholic.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH):
For some drugs, a relapse can be very dangerous—even deadly. If a person stops taking drugs and then takes the amount they used before quitting, they can easily overdose. Their body is no longer used to having the same amount of the drug in its system. An overdose happens when a drug causes serious, harmful symptoms or death.
It can be very embarrassing and you may feel shameful about your relapse but you cannot let this stop you from moving forward. There are many ways you can stay committed to sobriety after a relapse. The first thing you want to do is talk to your supports, with people who have been through a relapse before.
Now you wonder since you slipped up, did you just throw all of your sobriety down the drain? A relapse can make you stronger in your recovery, revealing a weakness you may have overlooked. This is something you can learn from. There is no time frame as to when you recover from a relapse. Recovery is a way of life, something you work on every day in many different ways. There are some other steps you may want to consider after you have picked yourself up.
Going Back to Treatment After a Relapse
Should you go back to treatment? Whether or not you should return to treatment will depend on the severity of your lapse and the circumstances surrounding it. If the relapse consisted of a few hours or a few days, you may be able to veer back to your recovery path somewhat seamlessly. If you went on multiple week-long benders, another round of treatment may be in order. Just like every addiction story is different, so is the path to recovery.
Look on the bright side. A slip may feel like the end of the world, but really, it’s an opportunity for growth and reinforcing basic life skills that need more work. Many people emerge from relapse with a fresh scare regarding what they are up against, as well as a deeper commitment to becoming sober. This renewed motivation can help you come back from a relapse even stronger and more committed than you were before.
Evoke Waltham Will Help You Recover After a Relapse
Let us get you started back on the road to recovery. At Evoke Waltham, we believe that effective and quality clinical care should be accessible the moment you need it. The traditional, multi-phased continuum of care is not right for everyone. We treat men and women anytime and anywhere, either in-person, virtually, or over the phone. We are a team of experienced, compassionate, and knowledgeable professionals who are dedicated to making recovery accessible regardless of your circumstances. Start the journey today.