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A relapse while in substance abuse recovery is when you go through the rehab process and get sober, only to find yourself back into your addictions and old habits. Unfortunately, relapses can be quite common, even if you have been through a substance abuse treatment program.

Why Does Relapse Occur?

Relapse cannot be considered a moral failing. Instead, it is an opportunity to address problems that have come up during the recovery process and create new strategies that will keep you on track with your recovery. A relapse can occur due to a variety of circumstances, including:

  • Stress
  • Being around friends who use
  • Peer pressure
  • Life changes
  • Personal tragedy
  • Unquenchable need or craving
  • Other unexpected reasons

The Stigma Behind a Relapse

You may see your relapse as a sign of weakness and poor character. Perhaps you feel that you are beyond saving. Maybe you feel that people will never take you seriously, as if you lied about being clean after rehab. This is not the case. The problem is that society has made you feel that if you relapse, it is a fault of your own and that you should feel even worse than before. This can cause personal grief and even embarrassment that others will think less of you if they were to find out. 

When relapse happens, the best thing to do is be honest. It is important to be honest with yourself, honest with your loved ones, and honest with your doctors. These are all people who want to make sure you are able to be your best self. They know that when you are struggling with substance abuse, there is a high probability of backsliding.

Some individuals who still use may shame you for not being as “cool” as you were when you were using, and non-users may identify you as someone who cannot be trusted to take care of themselves. In these cases, there is often relapse, as the drug was the only thing that might have made you feel good. 

The world can be a scary place if you have gone through recovery. This is why it is important to treat yourself with empathy.

Next Steps

The truth is that nearly 40-60% of people who have gone through a substance abuse recovery program relapse. This can be a scary number if you are suffering from substance abuse. But it does not mean the future is bleak. There is always hope, especially if you have relapsed. Where you might see rehab as an insurmountable obstacle, your real friends and support structure see you as someone who has made it through once and can make it through again. A few important things that you need to remind yourself of include: 

  • Specific triggers
  • People to avoid
  • Places to avoid
  • People in the support network
  • Emergency lifelines
  • It is okay to be human

This last point is very important. Everyone can fall into old behaviors at some point or another. When you do, it can be hard to come out of your own spiral. That is why the other points are also important. If you feel like you are heading down the wrong path, contact someone from your support network. This could be friends, family, or even a coworker. If you do not feel comfortable with that, know your emergency lifelines. Here are just a few:

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA): (800) 662-HELP
  • Suicide Prevention: 988
  • Emergency: 911
  • Lighthouse Recovery Texas: (214) 396-0259

Allow yourself to see where you are and try to view it as rationally as possible, even when it is through the lens of substance abuse. When you were previously in treatment there were probably parts that spoke to you and others you felt were not as helpful. When you choose to re-enter a treatment program you should tell them about your previous experience. Express to them what felt right about it and what did not resonate. This can help them to tailor your time there to fit your needs. 

Remember that any time you enter a treatment program you are at a different point in your life. This means that treatment will be different. If you allow yourself to accept that you may once again need help, the help will be made available to you. 

How Lighthouse Can Help

Lighthouse Recovery Texas offers a Sober Living program in Dallas, Texas for people in early sobriety.  It is a 90- to 180-day residency that is the premier program of its kind in Dallas. If you believe you will need added support and accountability, this program could provide you with skills to help avoid a relapse before it begins.

Should you find yourself in a relapse situation, our knowledgeable staff is here in our partial hospitalization program (PHP) to rebuild your confidence, skills, and sobriety in a friendly and holistic program. We are confident that our one-of-a-kind program, which includes individual and small group therapy, will help you back on the road to sobriety. 

With the high incidence of relapse, it is important to find a program that will assist in any stage of your journey to and through sobriety and understand that you are a person who needs assistance. At Lighthouse Recovery Texas our trained and knowledgeable staff can help you back on your feet and make sure that you are in the best possible place to move forward and back out into the world. Our premiere program is number one in the Dallas area.  We specialize in outpatient treatment and can provide you with a personalized, focused program that will aid you in your recovery process. If a relapse occurs, Lighthouse Recovery Texas will present you with a retooled program that suits your new situation and guide you back through the process of recovery and sobriety. For more information on our programs, call Lighthouse Recovery Texas at (214) 396-0259.