woman with hand on her head after a relapse The road to recovery is a treacherous one, filled with obstacles and daily challenges. Having a relapse is very common amongst people recovering from alcohol and drug addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), addiction is a chronic disease and the rate of relapse from drug addiction ranges from 40 to 60 percent. This percentage is on par with other chronic illnesses such as asthma and hypertension.

While you may feel frustrated and disappointed, it’s important to pick yourself up and forge ahead with your new life of sobriety.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

After a relapse, you may feel like drug addiction rehab was a waste of time and a failure. The truth is, having a relapse simply means your recovery plan needs some adjustment. When you adjust to life after rehab, you’re attempting to make changes to routines, behaviors and thought processes that have been ingrained for many years. Long-term change only comes with time and persistence.

When you view drug and alcohol addiction as a chronic disease just as other illnesses such as asthma, medical professionals agree that relapses are almost to be expected as part of the recovery process. While it’s important not to beat yourself up after a relapse, it’s also vital to take responsibility for your own actions and own up to them.

Reach Out and Surround Yourself with Positive People

Speak to your therapist, counselor or sponsor as soon as possible. Having a dependable support network at home is critical to ongoing success. During inpatient rehab, you likely had easy access to a supportive shoulder to lean on when you were feeling down. It’s important that you continue to receive that kind of support at home either through a continuing aftercare program with weekly meetings or through a more informal arrangement with a trusted friend or sponsor.

Learn from Your Mistakes

Now is the perfect time to re-evaluate your treatment plan and figure out where things went wrong. Perhaps you were feeling lonely and isolated and turned to alcohol or drugs. Plan for more social outings and don’t be afraid to call a friend. Maybe you skipped going to the gym for a week because you were sick and tired of the same old exercise routine. Tweak your workout plan and enroll in new and fun fitness classes instead.

When you reframe the situation as a learning experience rather than a failure, it’ll be much easier to pick up the pieces and move ahead.

Make a New and Improved Plan and Follow Through

Once you’ve thought of areas that need tweaking, write down your new plan and implement it. You may decide that you’d like to enroll in an outpatient program, or that you need to focus more on fitness and nutrition. Whatever your new plans are, stick with it and follow through.

Grit and perseverance will get you through the rocky first year following rehab and are the keys to long-term success. Call us today at 866-349-1770 to learn more.