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For those struggling with alcohol and/or substance use disorder (SUD), experiencing a relapse can be extremely disheartening. While some people appear to achieve sobriety on their “first try,” others may experience multiple relapses before they achieve lasting recovery. The important thing to remember is that even with none, one, or multiple relapses, recovery is possible for all.

For those struggling with relapse, it is important to understand that relapse is often a part of the recovery process. We at Lighthouse Recovery Texas can create a comprehensive treatment plan for clients to help them avoid relapse. However, if relapse does happen, we will treat it properly with compassion and positive re-direction.

The Potential for Pre-treatment Relapse

The truth is that while relapse is possible during any stage of recovery, it is most common for those who attempt recovery on their own without any communal or professional assistance. This is why finding someone or someplace that can help foster accountability is often essential for lasting recovery success.

One reason why these individuals experience an increased risk of relapse is that ceasing chronic substance use can produce a variety of unmanageable withdrawal symptoms. In many cases, these symptoms can also be life-threatening.

Some of these withdrawal symptoms are physical, such as nausea and vomiting, shakiness and dizziness, and excessive sweating and pallor. There are also mental withdrawal symptoms, such as racing thoughts, thoughts of worthlessness, and thoughts of impending doom. Withdrawal symptoms can also be emotional, causing an individual to develop co-occurring issues, including anxiety, depression, and further emotional distress.

As individuals attempt to navigate these painful withdrawal symptoms, many choose to use alcohol to mitigate their symptoms. There is a saying in many 12-Step programs that goes, “alcohol is the solution until it stops working.” What this means is that for someone dependent on alcohol, drinking will often momentarily ease withdrawal symptoms.

However, this is only a temporary reprieve, and the symptoms often come back stronger than before. This is why getting professional help right away is often a critical step for lasting recovery and avoiding future relapses.

The Potential for Relapse Reduction Post-Treatment

According to the medical journal Current Psychiatry Reports, “It has long been known that addictive disorders are chronic and relapsing in nature. Recent estimates from clinical treatment studies suggest that more than two-thirds of individuals relapse within weeks to months of initiating treatment,” and “for 1-year outcomes across alcohol, nicotine, weight, and illicit drug abuse, studies show that more than 85% of individuals relapse and return to drug use within 1 year of treatment.” While these statistics are certainly disturbing, they do not have to be a certainty for everyone.

As previously mentioned, recovery is never guaranteed, but it can certainly be bolstered toward success. This can happen by getting the appropriate care when symptoms of SUD appear.

We at Lighthouse Recovery can help individuals begin their recovery journey and cease the vicious cycle of relapsing and the potential for relapsing in the future. This begins with the development of an individualized treatment plan.

Treatment plans may utilize a partial hospitalization program (PHP), which can help someone detox from excessive alcohol use. On that point, detoxing from alcohol is actually one of the most dangerous substances to detox from without medical and/or professional supervision. This is why it is paramount that professional help is sought for severe alcohol use and other SUDs.

A treatment plan can also include an intensive outpatient program (IOP), which provides a variety of individual, group, and family therapy that is individualized to the needs of each client. 

Recovery Is Possible for All Who Seek It

No one should be defined by their worst moment, and no one should be defined by their active addiction. For those that have a chronic relapse problem, they should not be defined by that either. 

It is important to remember that people who struggle with alcohol and/or substance misuse are not bad people that want to do harm. They are sick people that need to get well. For those that keep falling from relapse, it is not a sign of their character. They just need help getting back up. 

Whether an individual is seeking PHP, IOP, and/or an extended care program, we have the specialists, tools, and resources to help them recover. We can treat co-occurring mental health issues, along with alcohol and other SUDs. We also have sober living housing options, as well as recovery coaching, that can help you stay on the right path once you have started your recovery journey.

Here at Lighthouse Recovery, we can be that help because we know “it’s not how you fall, it’s how you get back up” that truly builds character.

Sadly, relapse can be a part of recovery. But, gaining a better understanding of what a relapse is, why and when a relapse may happen, and how to handle one if it does happen can go a long way in achieving a healthier, long-lasting recovery. While a relapse may happen, that does not mean that it has to lead back down the road to a previous toxic lifestyle. Remember, “it is not how we fall; it is how we get back up.” A relapse does not have to be the end. It can be a new beginning. After relapse, recovery is possible. We can help you succeed. For more information, please contact Lighthouse Recovery Texas today at (214) 396-0259.