Can I Go Back to Rehab After a Relapse?
Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Patricia Sullivan, MD MPH
Why return to rehab after a relapse? You may be someone who sees recovery as a straight line, with complete healing being the end goal. If so, it would be understandable to feel discouraged after a relapse. Fortunately, if you or a loved one is facing you are not alone. Rehab is possible after relapse, and there are a few reasons you should consider returning to treatment.
Relapse is nothing to be ashamed of and we can help you grow from this situation! Call us today at 385-327-7418.
Get the Specific Answers You Need
Jump to the answers you need about going back to rehab after a relapse.
- Returning to a Habit, You Meant to Break
- How to Cope with A Relapse
- I Have Made Peace with My Relapse, Now What?
- Addiction Treatment Options After Relapse
- Do I Have to Go Back to Rehab After a Relapse?
- Be in Recovery for the Long-Haul
Returning to a Habit, You Meant to Break
A relapse is when a person returns to a habit they intended to break. For those facing drug addiction, this means you consumed the addictive substance again. It could be as simple as taking a sip of alcohol or as extreme as an opioid binge. Relapses can happen at any point on your journey to recovery and can bring about many mixed feelings.
This slip-up can be not only frustrating but a humiliating part of your journey to recovery. A relapse can leave you confused, battling feelings of guilt and shame. It may be something you attempt to hide from family members. You may even be tempted to give up on recovery altogether.
Sadly, relapses are very common. Healing takes time, and it is to be expected that you may even have multiple relapses on your journey to full recovery. According to The National Institute of Drug Abuse, around 40 to 60 percent of addiction treatment programs slip up at least once on their journey.
How to Cope with A Relapse
Now how exactly do you cope with a relapse in the first place? Just like recovery, getting over a relapse requires a mental shift first and foremost. A relapse can be physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing. You may be feeling a mix of emotions, and it is important to start sorting through the things you feel and take actionable steps.
Do you need assistance with dealing with your relapse? Call us today, and our specialists will be able to provide you with the needed guidance. Our team is here to help you cope with any relapse that you may be experiencing. Do not hesitate. Call today and start your healthier life tomorrow.
For many, after a setback, the guilt, shame, and humiliation they felt during active addiction come back tenfold. Prepare yourself for these feelings. Commit to using them as motivation to get back on track rather than as an excuse to hide away in disgrace if you do slip.
Whether you just sobered up after a brief lapse or you are in the middle of a longer relapse, you should consider contacting your addiction counselor, recovery coach, or other recovery accountability supporter to schedule a face-to-face meeting. Prepare yourself for a difficult conversation; admitting you slipped up will be difficult and humbling. If you can’t bring yourself to meet in person, make a phone call or send an email or text. The important part is to reestablish contact and let them know you struggle.
Call on the One’s You Love
This step may be particularly tough, especially if you have hurt your friends and family members with your addiction in the past. But support from the most important people in your life is critically important if you want to recover for good. When you approach loved ones, do so honestly and make sure you intend to go through with whatever you promise to do.
While asking the ones you love for help is not easy, it may be necessary. We understand this. Call us today, and we can help you talk to your loved ones about addiction. We can also help loved ones talk to addicts in their lives. Our specialists will provide you with the information you need to get on the road to recovery. Call us today.
I Have Made Peace with My Relapse, Now What?
Following a relapse, it is always a great idea to consider your next steps. Deciding where you want to go from this point will provide you with the motivation necessary to prevent another downward spiral. Below are some more great tips from Smartrecovery.org:
Consider Returning 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 might be able to veer back to your recovery path somewhat seamlessly. If you went on a two-week-long bender, another round of treatment might be in order. Like every addiction story is different, so is every path to recovery. Some treatment providers and facilities offer aftercare services as part of the original treatment plan or free counseling for a period following the initial treatment time.
If you have decided to go back to rehab, this is great news. You are ready to take the first step in getting back into rehab. Do not wait. Call us today.
Think of Relapse as a Stepping Stone
Instead of viewing your slip as a step backward, think of it as a progression on your road to recovery. Many people lapse or relapse, and if you think of each attempt at sobriety as a means of getting closer to your end goal — a lesson in your cumulative recovery learning, so to speak — this setback won’t be in vain.
The Revolving Door Syndrome
While recovering from addictive behavior, some people get caught in a pattern of repeated relapse and rehab; a phenomenon sometimes called “revolving door syndrome.” In most cases of revolving door syndrome, the person is not fully (or consistently) committed to a sober life, which makes going back to the substance or behavior of choice seem too tempting to resist. This cycle of repeated relapse is dangerous because it takes a toll on the individual’s health (physical and mental), sense of self-worth, and whatever healthy, positive relationships remain in their life. Although repeated slips can be a normal part of recovery, ongoing relapse and rehab can become a compulsive pattern of its own and make it even more difficult to stay sober long term successfully.
Look on the Bright Side
A slip may feel like the end of the world, but really, it is 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 and a deeper commitment to becoming sober. This renewed motivation can help you come back from a relapse even stronger than you were before.
Let us help you find the bright side. Our experts are here for you and only want to help you find the best treatment option for you. Call us today, and we can get you started in rehabilitation once again.
Addiction Treatment Options After Relapse
If you’ve decided a return to treatment makes sense, let’s look at some of the options available to you. There is a variety to choose from depending on the substance an individual is addicted to. For example, if you or your loved one struggles with opioid addiction, the primary focus would be detoxification. This is due to the severe withdrawal symptoms opioid users face, so admission into a treatment center would be a great option if this is the case. Meanwhile, a 12-step program may better serve someone recovering from alcoholism by re-entering a 12-step program.
There are also other options available following a relapse. A lot of the recovery process is trial and error, and there may be a form of treatment better suited to your needs.
Other treatment options include:
- Inpatient or outpatient therapy
- Counseling to deal with relapse and the psychology behind it
- Partial hospitalization (good for those struggling with a relapse related to illicit drugs like meth, heroin, etc.)
- Aftercare programs (great for reinforcing relapse prevention after short-term treatment)
Being vocal about your needs following a relapse is extremely important. Finding a strong support group or changing your environment can ensure that your relapse is only a momentary reroute.
It may even be helpful to find a creative outlet to cope with any feelings surrounding your relapse. The emotions could turn into an inspiring song, a motivational poem, or a photo montage to spread awareness.
Perhaps you could channel any anger into a new exercise routine while you navigate treatment. Ultimately, remember that you don’t have to be ashamed.
Do I Have to Go Back to Rehab After a Relapse?
The decision to return to rehab is a deeply personal one. The best way to decide is to analyze the relapse itself critically. If it was a minor slip-up after long sobriety, that person might be able to handle it on their own. On the flip side, if someone struggled with narcotic abuse and ended up on a binge, then maybe they are not in the proper headspace to make that decision for themselves. If you doubt whether rehab is a necessary step, consider erring on the side of caution.
Furthermore, a return to rehab could be the difference between life or death for the individual dealing with a relapse. According to Elevaterehab.org, an extended binge lasting several weeks could lead to overdose if not met with medical intervention. This is particularly true if you take preventive measures after the relapse. Remember that a relapse requires a hard look at your current environment.
Have any substances been removed? Are you avoiding bars? If potential triggers have not been dealt with properly, the consequences could escalate. It has also been found that people usually return to rehab after a relapse because they were not in treatment long enough the first time around. Call us today if you are ready to get back into treatment.
Be in Recovery for the Long-Haul
In considering going back to rehab after a relapse, it is important to remember that the road to recovery may be a long one. Studies have even found that long-term treatment is far more effective than short-term treatment. But if short-term care is the only option available to you at this point, you can still minimize the risk of relapsing. You may want to consider a relapse prevention program following your short-term treatment.
Most importantly, continue to remember that recovery does not happen just one way. There may be a variety of twists and turns on this journey, but it is important always to arm yourself with information. Continue to study what does and does not work for you. It is natural to feel discouraged, overwhelmed, and even fed up. Maybe you are the family member of an addict, and you are struggling to understand why the relapse happened in the first place. Do not be afraid to continue having those difficult conversations even after a relapse. You may feel that you do not know where to start, and we can help. If you or your loved one are struggling with moving forward following a relapse, reach out to us.
More Educational Content
How Stress Can Trigger a Relapse