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Making a huge life change like entering rehab or a substance use treatment program for the very first time can seem like one of the scariest things in the world. But what happens when you are about to start your rehab journey for the second (or third, or fourth, etc.) time? 

It is extremely common to restart rehab more than once, and doing so may surface feelings of being stuck, overwhelmed, or perceiving yourself as a failure. Starting treatment over is a sign that you are committed to securing recovery, and for that, you should be proud. 

Approaching Your Second Time in Rehab With Love and Empathy

In order to get the most out of your second time in rehab, it is important to begin the process with a positive mindset, and realize that you are doing an amazing thing by taking charge of your substance abuse struggles head-on. You should congratulate yourself for taking the initiative to improve your life, your health, and your wellbeing, no matter where you might be in your recovery journey. 

It is no secret that substance use disorders come along with a lot of negative thoughts and feelings about yourself, treatment, and everything in-between. When you make the decision to enter rehab for a second time, these feelings can often be magnified. It is important to remember that re-entering rehab does not equate to failure. Instead, it is a true testament to how strong you really are and how serious you are about your recovery. 

You Are Not the Exception to the “Rule”

You are not the exception to the rule, and, in fact, there really are no rules when it comes to substance abuse treatment. Everyone’s journey is unique, and everyone follows a different path that is best suited for them in order to rebuild their lives and maintain long-term sobriety. 

According to a 2007 journal in Current Psychiatry Reports, clinical treatment studies suggest that more than two-thirds of individuals relapse within weeks to months of initiating treatment, and more than 85% of individuals relapse and return to drug use within one year of treatment. These numbers might seem staggering, but the figures have grown even more since 2007, and even blew up exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn From the Past and Prepare for a Positive Future

You might feel ashamed to admit that you need to enter rehab to begin with. Those negative feelings of shame and guilt might be intensified when you prepare to go through the process once again. Instead of seeing your first stint in rehab as a failure or a defeat, re-frame your mind to see all of the positive things that you learned the first time around.

Journal It Out

Grab a journal and list out all of the things that you learned in substance abuse treatment the first time around. Write down the things that went right, the things that did not go right, and what you intend to do differently during your new rehab journey. 

Another good idea is to write about the things that you were grateful for during your first stint in rehab. Maybe you really connected to peers and staff, or maybe you learned a lot more about the science behind substance abuse as a disease. 

According to News in Health, studies suggest that making a habit of noticing what is going well in your life through gratitude may improve both your physical and emotional well-being. Once you start to recognize and be grateful for all of the things you have already learned during your first time in rehab, you will begin to cultivate a more positive mindset about treatment and about yourself. This will set you up for greater success the second time around.

You’re Not Starting From Scratch

When you decide to enter rehab or substance abuse treatment once again, it does not mean that you have failed the first time around. In fact, relapse, in general, is part of the treatment process. Treatment facilities are well aware of this extremely common reality, and a good addiction rehab or substance abuse treatment facility will have programs in place that help you overcome the challenges of relapse and set you up for long-term success. 

Do not think of your second time in rehab as starting from scratch. Instead, think about all of the things that you learned the first time around and be grateful that you can take that knowledge and those tools with you as you begin treatment once again. When you really think about it, you are in an even better position than you were the first time, because now you really know what to expect.

Seek Support From Family, Peers, and Professionals

Even though it might seem frightening to seek out addiction treatment or rehab for a second time,  you do not have to go at it alone. Be open and honest with your family support system, as well as the peers and professionals in your program, in order to get even more out of your journey. Successful treatment programs will come along with a group component so you can find support while also supporting others who have been through the same experiences as you. Additionally, professionally trained staff will help you on the track to long-term sobriety.

Making a huge life change like entering alcohol rehab or a substance abuse treatment program for the very first time can seem like one of the scariest things in the world. Entering rehab for a second time might seem even scarier, but, the truth is that relapse is a widespread occurrence and it is considered just another part of the substance abuse treatment journey. At Lighthouse Recovery Texas, we understand that relapse is an extremely common part of the substance abuse treatment journey, and our trained professionals are prepared to guide you every step of the way. We offer several different treatment program options to help individualize your treatment experience. With your commitment and dedication to healing, we will help you secure lifelong sobriety and recovery. Call us today at (214) 717-5884 for more information about our treatment program options.