I Slipped, Now What? Relapse in Early Recovery and What to Do

Written by Chloe Nicosia

How to Get Back on Track After Relapse in Early Recovery

Addiction is not something that can be cured suddenly. It’s usually a long-term condition, supported by the fact that the disease is known to be relapsing. According to the Journal of American Medical Association, the relapse rates for the disease mirror that of diabetes: between 40 and 60 percent in the first year.  Relapse in early recovery is a particular concern because of the added strains of having to deal with withdrawal symptoms and severe cravings.

In this article, we will look at what to do after drug relapse.

Relapse Isn’t a Failure

It is easy to think that once you have relapsed, all of the hard work you put into your recovery has been wasted. However, some people may relapse multiple times before finally quitting for good. Addiction recovery is a long term goal, not something that just needs to be achieved just once.

Relapse in early recovery can mean that a new or improved relapse prevention plan needs to be put in place. Relapse prevention plan in such a situation should be seen as just a slip not that the train has derailed. There is something to be learned from such an experience which should ultimately help you with your true long-term goals of sobriety.

Take Steps to Strengthen Your Approach

What to do after drug relapse is about looking at your relapse prevention strategies and adjusting it. Relapse usually occurs due to several factors working against a person. Take time to sit quietly and reflect on what happened, looking at what the possible causes there were for the relapse in early recovery.

Before the situation is allowed to spiral out of control, take a step back to think about whether you started hanging out with the wrong people or if you let stress build up too much. It is common for a person to be negative with their progress and their position in life, causing an overwhelming feeling that can lead to relapse. Are you still going to support group meetings and sticking with your original intent?

Risk factors that can lead to substance abuse include episodes of depression, a stress buildup and other negative moods. Of course, professional help is always available and going in for an appointment with a rehab can help to get you back on track.

Reach Out

Much of long-term sobriety is about having the right kind of support system in place. When a person has a relapse in early recovery, it could mean that their support system is not functioning properly. This is often due to the recovering person closing themselves off to others and not taking the time to sit and talk about what’s happening to them.

Whether it is your family, a rehab or friends that you rely on for support, reach out for help before more slips occur.

Consider More Rehab

As mentioned before, some people have multiple relapses and trips in and out of rehab before they finally quit for good. If you have relapsed early in your recovery, you might benefit from continuing your treatment at the rehab. You do not have to deal with relapse alone; addiction specialists are standing by to help you overcome a relapse.

Outpatient programs can be a useful way to extend your treatment while giving you the chance to transition into your normal life again. Call Better Addiction Care now at 1.800.429.7690 to locate the nearest rehab in your area.