Recovering from substance abuse is not an easy journey. In fact, between 40 and 60% of people relapse within a year after the rehabilitation. If you’ve relapsed just know you are not alone. 

Relapse isn’t the end of the world. It’s important to recognize that you can bounce back. You can even develop a stronger plan for avoiding relapse in the future.

Not sure where to begin your road to recovery after relapse? Here are the eight tips you need. With these tips, your alcohol or drug relapse doesn’t have to define you.

Instead, you can set yourself up for long-term success in the future.

Recover after a drug or alcohol relapse with these tips today!

1. Consider What Happened

First, it’s important to recognize that relapsing doesn’t mean you’re a failure. What’s important now is how you react to what happened. Taking action now can prevent your substance abuse from getting worse.

It can also increase your chances for overall recovery.

What does relapse mean, exactly? Relapsing means you’ve returned to your addictive behaviors after a period of abstinence. There are different types of relapses: slips and full relapses.

A slip might include a small sip of wine or taking a hit off a joint once. At first, these minor moments might not seem like a big deal. They could lead you to a full relapse, though.

A full relapse occurs when you’ve completely returned to your addictive behavioral patterns. You might drink or use drugs as often as you used to. Maybe you’re hanging out with bad influences that led you to relapse. 

There are also different stages involved in a relapse.

For example, you might start to experience some of the emotions you did while you were using. These emotions can include mood swings, irritability, or avoiding loved ones.

During a mental relapse, you’ll experience an internal conflict. You might start to justify your drug or alcohol addiction. 

Physical relapse occurs when you return to your drug or alcohol of choice. 

What triggered your drug or alcohol relapse? Did you return to an old haunt? Maybe you spent time with old friends.

Make a list of your triggers. Then, make an effort to avoid those triggers. Learning how to avoid your triggers is an important step in drug and alcohol recovery.

2. Seek Support

You don’t have to go through this process alone. For successful recovery after relapse, seek help. Reach out to your support system, including your:

  • Trusted friends
  • Family members
  • Sponsors
  • A professional counselor

It’s normal to feel ashamed about what happened. Your relapse doesn’t define you, though. Don’t hesitate to ask for help.

Remain honest with those in your support system. Otherwise, they might struggle to offer the help you need.

Consider attending 12-step, AA, or NA meetings more often. Surround yourself with people who understand what you’re going through. They can help you maintain your sobriety during life after rehab.

3. Go Back to Treatment

Recovering from alcohol or drug addiction is a long-term process. You might require treatment more than once. That’s okay.

Seeking the help you need can improve your alcohol or drug recovery process. In some cases, it means you need to adjust your treatment strategy. 

It’s not a sign of failure. Returning to alcohol or drug addiction treatment means you’re focused on your recovery. You’re making a commitment to improving your life. 

4. Forgive Yourself

Take the time to forgive yourself for your drug or alcohol relapse. Remember, it’s normal to experience guilt or shame. However, those emotions aren’t going to benefit your recovery after relapse long-term.

Experiencing these emotions can help you realize it’s time to make a change. However, holding onto your guilt will only hold you back. You could put unnecessary stress on yourself, too.

Stress could lead to a future drug or alcohol relapse.

Instead, acknowledge what happened. Determine why you relapse. Then, learn from your mistakes.

Start making positive changes in your life. Set yourself up for long-term success. 

Then, let go of your negative emotions. Look at the efforts you’re making! Focusing on your progress will help you forgive yourself for what happened. 

5. Discover Healthy Habits

Changing your lifestyle can help you avoid a drug or alcohol addiction in the future. Focus on creating a happy, healthy lifestyle for yourself.

For example, you can start exercising. Exercising will help you repair any damage your body sustained as a result of your addiction. It can also help boost serotonin production.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that can impact your mood and sense of well-being.

Exercising can also help you reduce your stress. The next time you come across a trigger, call someone on your support team. Ask if they want to go for a walk or jog.

Consider meditation, yoga, and other forms of relaxing exercise, too.

Try to make adjustments to your diet as well. Your body experiences a lot of damage when you use drugs or alcohol. Eating nutritious foods can give your body the care it needs.

It’s also important to get enough sleep each night. Otherwise, chronic fatigue can trigger a relapse.

These lifestyle changes can benefit your life after rehab for years to come.

6. Establish a Routine

Once you improve your daily life, stick to it. Establish a routine for yourself.

A routine can help you find structure in your life. It can also help you avoid feeling bored. Otherwise, boredom could lead you to a relapse.

7. Know Your Goals

What are your long- and short-term goals? For example, maybe you want to remain sober for a month, three months, or an entire year? Maybe you want to mend your broken relationships.

Make a list of your short- and long-term goals. Then, make an effort to accomplish those goals.

Writing down your goals will help you focus on the future, rather than your past mistakes. 

Returning to the Road to Recovery

Recovery after relapse isn’t impossible! With these seven tips, you can heal and put yourself on the right path. You can also avoid an alcohol or drug relapse in the future.

Set yourself up for success with these tips today.

Remember, you’re not alone in this process. Do you need help? Admitting a problem is the first step.

Contact us today to get started.

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