Getting clean and sober after years of drug addiction can seem like the highlight of someone’s life. The downfall to recovery is that there are some people who start to feel as though they are invincible to the drugs and assume that there is no way they will ever relapse. This isn’t always the case, though. More than 40% of all drug addicts end up relapsing after their recovery at some point in their life. This can be due to many different factors, including an injury, depression or even a sense of invincibility.
When someone does relapse, it can feel as though their entire world has collapsed beneath them. They often feel even worse about themselves than they did when they got clean the first time because they feel like they are a failure and like there is nothing they are ever going to be able to do to regain the trust and support from their loved ones again. This isn’t the case, though. Use the guide that follows to learn what steps to take after a relapse to get your life back on track and have the future that you deserve.
Don’t Give Up on Yourself
Unfortunately, one of the most common mistakes that people make is that they give up on themselves after they relapse. Whether you used drugs again one time or many times, you should never give up on yourself. You can regain control of your life if you are dedicated and motivated. It’s okay to be hard on yourself, but you need to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start rebuilding your life again right away. Don’t use your relapse as an excuse to keep using.
Assess Your Addiction Situation
Take the time to assess your current addiction situation. There are some people who slip up and use drugs just one time and realize that they made a mistake and don’t want to go down the same road that they did in the past. If you are one of these people, you may not need to go into treatment for addiction again. You may simply need to work with a sponsor to get your life back on track.
If you have found that you have been using drugs again for an extended period of time, you may be physically and mentally addicted to the drugs again. This means that it’s time to go into a treatment facility and be evaluated for your addiction. You may need to go through outpatient treatment to get clean again, but there is a good chance that you may need to go into inpatient treatment for a short time to make the detox period easier. Medications can make the withdrawal symptoms easier to handle so that you can better the chances of getting and staying clean.
Talk to a Counselor After a Relapse
No matter which form of treatment you choose, you need to talk to a counselor about your relapse. You need to determine what cause you to relapse and if there are triggers that you need to avoid in the future to avoid relapsing again.
There are many times when addicts don’t realize that things are triggers for them until they talk to a counselor who can help them determine what they are. Once you are an addict you’re an addict for life. That means that you will always have the ability to use drugs again, but you need to have the mental clarity and determination to know how to avoid the temptations of drug use again in the future.
Go to Group Meetings
Going to group meetings and talking about your recovery helps you to know that you aren’t alone. There are often many addicts in the meeting that can help you realize that relapsing is often a part of the recovery process. You can also get a sponsor who can help you stay on the right path to sobriety so that you can avoid relapsing again.
The sponsor is someone who you can talk to whenever you are feeling triggered to use drugs or simply when you are having a hard time and need a shoulder to cry on. Sponsors are often individuals who have been sober for a very long time and have the knowledge and experience needed to provide you with valuable and useful guidance during your recovery period.
Be Open and Honest with Your Loved Ones
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is trying to hide your relapse form the ones that you love. If they find out that you were using again and hid it from them, it could be hard for them to trust you again in the future. You need to let them know that you were battling your addiction, that you have gotten help and let them know what help you need from them in the future to stick with your sobriety.
People who don’t battle addiction often don’t understand it. They don’t know what possible triggers are and maybe putting temptation in front of you accidentally. Talking to them about what you are feeling, why you think you relapsed and what steps you are taking to avoid relapsing again can help them join your team and support you in every way that they can.
Take Each Day one Day at a Time
Recovery is a lifelong journey. Just because you aren’t using drugs currently doesn’t mean that you aren’t still addicted to them. The mental addiction to drugs is often much stronger than the physical addiction. You need to face each struggle as it arises and be willing to get help anytime you feel the urge to use drugs. Your friends, family, and sponsor can all help you to get through the tough time in a proactive way to decrease the chances of you relapsing again. Knowing that you have people by your side to support you can make you turn to the people that you love, instead of the drugs that masked the feelings that you have.