Recovery is certainly possible, but an addict is never truly “cured.” Even after weeks of detox and rehab and hours upon hours of therapy, all it takes is one moment of indulgence to bring months or even years of being clean to an end.
This is what makes relapse prevention therapy such a vital part of the recovery process. We’ve all gone through bad days. Maybe you get fired, or a romantic relationship fizzles out, or something else devastating happens, and you get home and just want to tune it all out and forget about everything.
At these times, recovering addicts often feels a strong urge to use their substance of choice again, rationalizing to themselves that they’ll use it “just this once” to take their minds off things for a while.
Of course, it rarely ever is just that once.
Stepping Out Of The Spiral
Relapsing is very dangerous. Many recovering addicts who relapse often don’t account for the fact that they built up a tolerance when they were regularly using, and immediately going back to their usual dose after a long hiatus leads to a lot of unintentional overdose deaths.
Relapsing is dangerous in a less immediate way as well, in that it makes you feel guilty for breaking a long string of drug-free days and letting down everyone who supported you through your initial recovery. This leads to the addict using more of their substance of choice to help cope with that guilt, which in turn leads to them feeling even more guilty, et cetera.
There’s only one way to break free of this spiral.
Own Up And Move Forward
The most important thing about a relapse is not to keep it a secret from those close to you. That will just make you feel guiltier. It also enables you to keep using, as your support system won’t know that you’re back on your substance of choice and therefore won’t be able to encourage you into getting the help you need.
So be honest and own up to your slip-up. It can be difficult to break this news to people who have already helped get you through substance abuse treatment before, but it’s the only way you’ll get back on track to a healthy life.
If you have any questions about how to deal with a relapse or anything else related to addiction recovery, feel free to contact us.