Relapse Doesn't Have To Be The End Of The World - Rehab Guide
relapse addiction

Relapse Doesn’t Have To Be The End Of The World

Relapse Doesn’t Have To Be The End Of The World

If you are fighting drug or alcohol addiction and suffer a relapse, it can feel as if you have let yourself down. You may feel as if you have failed on your mission to eradicate addictive substances from your life.

Your sense of guilt and regret, and the feeling you have disappointed yourself, your friends and loved ones, may lead to anxiety and depression. But relapse does not have to signify the end of your recovery. You don’t have to give up hope. It is not the end of the world.

As hard as it may be to believe, there are often instances where those experiencing the cloud of relapse could have something of a silver lining. You may not be able to recognise it right away, but, in certain cases, it may even be a blessing in disguise. You must take a step back sometimes just to remind you of how far you have come, and what you have given up.

It is perfectly natural to feel down and despondent if you have relapsed, but you must never forget that addiction is an illness, a disease, affecting millions of people across the UK. Relapse is an aspect of the disease, as well as a part of recovery.

Addiction relapse can have far-reaching consequences, where you make a significant return to abusing addictive substances after abstaining for a period. However, it is not uncommon to suffer a relapse during recovery. In fact, it has been reported in excess of 90% of people undergoing drug or alcohol addiction therapy struggle to retain sobriety and “fall off the wagon” at least once during their rehab.

Addiction relapse often takes place when someone in recovery has left rehab, believing they have addiction under control, but falls back into the trap of abusing drugs or alcohol. It may be triggered by stress, problems at home or work, money worries, or having suffered a loss or bereavement. These are a few of the more common circumstances which could lead a recovering addict to start using again.

Your relapse, though, does not have to define your battle with dependency. It is not that we fall but how we get up again that matters and with the continued support of friends, loved ones, and advisors or counsellors who may be assisting you in your treatment, then you can get up from your relapse and carry on, until you have ultimately removed drugs and alcohol from your life altogether.

However, despite the unfortunate circumstances, if you have succumbed to relapse, you should not look at it as a personal failure on your part. More to the point, you should consider it a warning sign, an indicator your continuing rehabilitation has hit a stumbling block, and you may require additional guidance and support. This may be the time to reassess and possibly amend your treatment and regard your relapse as an opportunity to learn and grow.

Rather than conceding the fact your recovery has not worked and questioning whether you should go on at all, reconsider the connotations of the relapse in your mind and what it means. You do not have to give up on your dreams of sobriety and living a life clean of drugs and alcohol addiction. It can still happen to you. It may just be a matter of altering your recovery programme or day to day lifestyle — small changes which could make a big difference to your life and prevent future addiction relapse.

For instance, you could consider intensifying the therapy or counselling sessions you attend, either as part of a group or individually, just to ensure you are receiving all the advice and guidance you need during your treatment.  You could contact our addiction counsellors at Rehab Guide, who could talk you through various options. You could also make an appointment and talk to your GP, who may prescribe any medication you require to reduce cravings and deal with underlying issues like anxiety or depression.

There is the possibility of joining a support group in your area, and you could find a sponsor, who will assist you and provide you with a shoulder as you carry on with recovery. Your relapse may also inspire you to get more exercise and avoid temptation, such as avoiding people and places which may encourage you to take drugs and alcohol, which could be of long-term benefit to your ongoing rehabilitation treatment.

If you experience a relapse in the course of rehab, do not despair. It could provide you with a new sense of direction and change your life, to put back on course to recovery. What may at first have felt like a setback, or even a failure, may ultimately turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to you.

Contact Rehab Guide for free, confidential addiction advice on 02072052845


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Author 'Fiona Kennedy

Fiona Kennedy

Fiona Kennedy is an editor and content manager who earned her Master of Arts degree from the University of Edinburgh, followed by completing the CELTA Cambridge teaching course in English. She has worked as an editor, writer and personal coach. Coming from a family deeply involved in the rehabilitation and support of those suffering from addiction, she is passionate about helping people to understand and take control of their dependences. Fiona’s other passions include travelling and taking part in community projects.


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