What Happens If I Relapse?

Doing anything new is often nerve wracking. Whether you’re starting a new job or thinking about going to addiction treatment, the fear of failure is real. Although your anxiety is normal, you also want to make sure that it doesn’t hold you back from getting help when you need it the most. Wondering what happens if I relapse means that you might be worried about being unable to stay sober. Or, you might just be trying to put together a plan to make sure you are successful. In both cases, understanding why relapse happens and what you can do about it can help you feel more confident about moving forward with addiction treatment.

If you feel like you hear people talk about relapsing a lot, then you are right. Around half of all people who attempt to get sober will have a relapse at some point. You are most vulnerable to having a relapse during the first year, but it could also happen many years down the road. Hearing this might seem daunting, but it might help to know that most relapses aren’t permanent. Instead, people often fall prey to temptation during a transitional moment in their life that they might not be prepared to handle. When that happens, going back to treatment or adding new strategies for staying sober to your current plan can help you get back on track. You’ll also find it helpful to watch out for these common causes of relapses.

  • leaving rehab too soon
  • missing too many aftercare meetings
  • feeling overly confident in sobriety
  • hanging out with people who use drugs or drink excessively
  • failing to address underlying causes for your addiction

Get Professional Treatment to Set Yourself Up For a Successful Recovery

Going to an addiction treatment program is the best way to prevent a relapse. During your treatment, you’ll work with counselors and other addiction care professionals to identify the reasons why you can’t stop using drugs or alcohol. Many people have underlying mental health conditions that place them at greater risk for developing an addiction. You might have once started drinking to manage your social anxiety during events, but this turned into you drinking excessively during times when you weren’t around other people. Or, you might use drugs to check out at night so that you can forget about a traumatic event. Once you start to learn how to deal with challenging emotions, you’ll be able to use healthier strategies to feel better.

Your professional treatment also doesn’t have to end when you leave rehab. As you get ready to exit the primary phase of your treatment, you’ll work with your team to develop an aftercare plan that helps you to avoid having a relapse. This plan will include building a support network of people that you can reach out to when temptation strikes. You may also have certain activities built into your weekly schedule or daily routine such as going to group therapy meetings and exercising. Making sure to follow this plan closely gives you the tools you need to stay sober, and you’ll also know exactly what to do when temptation rears its ugly head.

If you do experience a relapse, then knowing that it is a normal part of the recovery process can help you avoid feeling too ashamed to seek help. Many people stumble on their way to success, and the best way to handle a relapse is to admit that it happened and find a way to make it stop. For a severe relapse, you might need to return to inpatient care. Milder relapses might be treatable through outpatient services. Being honest with your treatment team helps them to suggest the right method to get you back on track.

The prospect of relapsing after working so hard to get sober can be scary, but we’ve got a plan to help you find success. Whether you are having a relapse or are just trying to avoid one, give us a call at 833-680-0165 to start creating your personalized sobriety plan today.