After successfully completing drug rehabilitation programs, it’s common for recovering addicts to worry that it’s not going to “stick.” Many people find themselves falling back into old destructive habits and beginning to self-medicate once again. This is typically referred to as a “relapse,” and, although it can feel like a huge step backward, it is a completely normal part of the long-term recovery process.
How Common is Relapse and Why Does it Happen?
Addiction relapse statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse show that relapse occurs in approximately 40-60% of cases, similar to the rates of relapse in diseases like type I diabetes and hypertension. This tells us that not only is it common to relapse it’s comparable to other chronic diseases that require ongoing management. Addiction isn’t just a bad habit; it’s a chronic illness that has its own ups and downs.
While we can’t say for certain exactly what causes relapse in drug addicts and alcoholics, we do know that addiction has a physiological basis, which means that relapse isn’t caused by a lack of willpower. Whether or not a person will relapse comes down to a combination of physical, neurological, and psychological factors.
What to Do if You Relapse
If you do fall back into drug or alcohol abuse, there are several things you can do:
- Tell those you trust about your relapse. Admitting to and talking about your relapse is just as important as it was to admit to your addiction in the first place.
- Reach out to a counselor or substance abuse treatment program. If you don’t know where to start, try running an internet search for “rehab centers near me.” Drug rehab centers can be instrumental in getting you back on track.
- If you’re continuing to use during relapse to avoid getting sick, make arrangements to get into a detox as soon as possible.
- While you arrange for continuing drug or alcohol abuse treatment, steer clear of people, places, and activities that create temptation or trigger negative thoughts that may cause you to use illicit substances.
- Remember that addiction can bend your thoughts unrealistically. If your thoughts tell you you’ll never be able to change, it’s simply not true. You’ve done it before, and this isn’t the end of the road! Use tools like daily positive affirmations to keep negative thoughts in check.
Recover from Relapse or Start Your Journey at BlueCrest Recovery Center
Whether you’re seeking drug or alcohol rehab for the first time or are a recovering addict who needs a leg up after relapse, BlueCrest Recovery Center in Woodland Park, NJ is here for you. Our comprehensive inpatient, outpatient, partial care, and aftercare services address the needs of the mind, body, and spirit to help patients move past addiction and develop tools and strategies for a healthier, more hopeful life.
Call us today at (973) 453-5384 to get the compassionate help you deserve.