The fear of returning to your former lifestyle after getting sober is real. For many people, the journey to recovery is not particularly smooth or straight. Some people get sober in rehab and have a small relapse when they return home. Others may go for years without a problem and suddenly pick up old habits when they encounter a major challenge. While relapse can happen for many different reasons, experiencing one can send you on a downward spiral that impacts your finances, health and personal relationships. If you are experiencing a setback in your sobriety or believe that you are heading for one, then take these three steps to stop it from becoming a negative spiral.
Be Honest About Experiencing a Relapse
In your addiction treatment, you likely learned that dishonesty is a major barrier to sobriety. After making it so far, you might be afraid to admit that you are struggling with drugs or alcohol again. In fact, you might even find it hard to admit your problem to yourself, which makes it even more difficult to open up to your family and friends. However, you need to be honest about what you are going through so that your support network can kick in and help you through it. Take a moment to ask yourself if you are experiencing the following signs of a serious relapse.
- You’ve started using drugs or alcohol again
- You feel the need to hide what you are doing
- You feel guilty or ashamed about your behavior
- You stopped going to your outpatient treatment
Keep in mind that a relapse might start out seeming like you’ve got control over the situation. You might have reached a point in your sobriety when you think that you can use drugs or alcohol occasionally, or you might feel like you can stop anytime. These are common feelings to experience during a relapse, but they are detrimental to your sobriety. Once you’ve struggled with an addiction, it is unlikely that you can be a casual drinker or drug user. Recognizing that this is okay and normal for many people can make it easier to reach out for help. Start now by contacting the members of your support team. You may need to tell your spouse, counselor or sober companion about what is happening. Together, you can begin to decide the best type of treatment to fit your needs.
Enroll In an Effective Treatment Program
Going to a drug addiction treatment program is the most effective way to stop a relapse in its tracks. The minute that you enroll in a program, you send signals to your brain that you are not going to continue to engage in the behavior. If you’ve already been through a program before, then you likely know that you have several options for treatment. Inpatient care is an option that you might want to choose if your relapse is severe. Are you already feeling the effects of your relapse in your life such as by losing your job or going to jail? Or, you might be using pretty much constantly. If this is the case, then going to a 24/7 residential program can help you get through your withdrawal symptoms and begin putting your life back together.
Outpatient treatment is an option if you’ve caught your relapse early or are only mildly using drugs or alcohol. With outpatient care, you can continue to work on maintaining your current healthy lifestyle while receiving that extra bit of therapy that helps you get over this hump. Depending upon your needs, outpatient care can take an intensive form that involves attending counseling sessions throughout a large portion of the day. Or, you might benefit from going to shorter therapy sessions that help reinforce the sobriety strategies that you’ve already learned.
Take Action to Stay Sober In the Future
There is nothing to be ashamed about when it comes to a relapse. Returning to using drugs or alcohol can only happen if you were sober for any amount of time. Try to celebrate how far you’ve come and tell yourself that you can make it even further. As part of your treatment plan, you’ll put together new strategies to stop another relapse from happening. Remember that sobriety is a learning process, and you can stick to your commitment with the right types of support.
Are you worried that you are falling into a downward spiral? Give us a call at 772-266-5320 today to find a relapse treatment program that gets you back on track.