Even the most attentive, diligent, and meticulous person is at risk of relapsing during their recovery process. During recovery, the chances of a relapse can be as high as 60% for certain individuals. So in some regards, relapsing is almost expected for around half of patients recovering from drugs or alcohol. But, that doesn’t mean it feels good at the moment, nor is it a situation you want to endure. Let’s take a look at relapsing, recovery, and the relationship between the two.

What Is Considered a Relapse?

When recovering from alcohol or drug abuse, a relapse is a situation in which you resort back to these substances once again. For many, a relapse is a temporary powerless moment, some combination of triggering scenarios, a desire to continue taking a substance, or a treatment program that has yet to take effect. One example might be someone who chooses to ignore wine or beer at a party, only to drink alcohol at home the next day. Relapse occurs fairly commonly, and there are plenty of signs that someone might be on the wrong track.

Why Do We Relapse?

In short, we relapse because it can be very difficult to go from addiction to long-term sobriety. Recovering from mental health issues can be very difficult, especially if your support isn’t top-notch. That’s why addiction therapy programs like ours exist to help provide professional support and expertise for individuals who need it.

Just like the way these therapy programs are personalized, relapses are also a very personalized situation. It can often occur for a variety of reasons, with many of them resulting in a return to old habits, situations, or conditions that trigger a relapse. Here are some of the reasons an individual might regress during their recovery process:

  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • A return to locations where drug abuse was common or originated
  • Being around certain people that you used to drink or get high with
  • Guilt caused by negative thoughts or emotions
  • Pre-existing mental health conditions

Is Relapse Just a Part of Recovery?

For many therapy programs, relapse is considered a normal part of recovery. Because it happens so often, a good program will focus on identifying some of the triggers and preparing the individual with new ways to cope with their situation.

For example, if you relapse after spending a night out with friends in a location where you often found yourself drinking, programs will focus on identifying emotions, feelings, and thoughts that occurred before you took your first drink. In general, most therapists believe that the most important factor is to make good progress, and not be perfect. Similar to the stock market, a good investment cannot be viewed through daily fluctuations. Taking an overall view is an important step, and if you’re making adequate progress, relapse can serve as just a temporary roadblock and not a sign of things to come.

What to Do After Relapsing

You also don’t want to view a relapse as just a normal situation if it leads to a repeated pattern of abuse. Discuss your situation with a medical professional, who will help you determine the next steps. It’s important to at the very least continue your rehabilitation program, and professionals will discuss other therapy methods like cognitive behavioral therapy, yoga, or physical fitness to help combat any additional variables. 

Either way, be sure to keep open communication with your mental health professional and be honest about your relapse and the scenarios that played a role in it occurring. This will help you remove that roadblock and not let the relapse lead to a worse situation.

With the Right Treatment Program, You’ll Get Through Any and Every Obstacle

The most important part of your alcohol or drug recovery is having a quality treatment program. Medical professionals like the ones at Steps to Recovery have seen plenty of patients through the process, and know how to properly address obstacles like relapsing and other issues that might come about during your rehabilitation. Remember, recovery is a lifelong process, and our detox programs ensure that you successfully achieve your goals with a relapse prevention plan. Contact us today or give us a call at 267.209.7312 if you or a loved one are in need of drug or relapse recovery.