For those recovering from an addiction, relapse can be a scary term. What happens if I relapse? Will I be able to recover? Better yet – what should I do if I relapse? Relapse is defined as the recurrence of any disease that has gone into remission or recovery. When someone relapses, they could either experience a “slip”, in which it is a one-time incident, or they may enter a full relapse where they feel as though they can manage their addiction again. If this happens, remember that relapse is a normal part of recovery and does not mean that you have failed.

There are several important steps that a person should take if they relapse:

  1. Call your sponsor or advisor. If you have a 12-step sponsor or advisor from your treatment program, reach out to them immediately; that’s what they are there for. Be upfront and honest with them – tell them everything that happened, preferably in person, and discuss next steps with them.
  2. Determine the option of returning to rehab. Speak with your sponsor to determine if your relapse requires more immediate attention at an in-patient rehabilitation center. If not, you may still be able to attend rehab as an outpatient to ensure that you get back on track.
  3. Gain additional support from loved ones. Rely on family and friends that you know you can count on – ones that will be supportive and help you get back into recovery mode. Ask them to check up on you to make sure that you’re okay.
  4. Check your perspective. Experiencing a devastating relapse may mean that you return to treatment, and you may feel like there is nothing new that you can learn by going back. Keep your perspective open because this may be a new chance for you to discover why you relapsed and for you to gain additional tools to help you prevent triggering moments like that in the future.
  5. Be prepared to come back, stronger than ever. Having a mind full of determination and preparedness is going to help you gain perspective on everything. You’ve got a full network of people to support you, tools to get you through the tough times, and the knowledge to see how certain things affect you. You’ve got this.

Relapse doesn’t necessarily mean you start over – it means you return with even more skill sets and power to better handle challenging situations. It’s a lesson learned, and we can all benefit from those. You’re human, and you had a human moment. That’s okay. With this new experience, you can take what you have learned and show life that you have what it takes to get through this – a more powerful, ready, determined individual.

Recovery is yours when you start to do the work. At a treatment facility in the New Vista Behavioral Health family, you will be supported with staff and programming held to higher standards, providing exceptional care for better outcomes. Life is yours for living. Start making a change today by calling: 866-926-1498


Addiction and behavioral healthcare are within reach when you join us at New Vista Behavioral Health:
A far-reaching horizon and new perspective toward addiction recovery, wellness and restoration. We are a national and renowned family of treatment centers focused on distinctive patient care, evidence-based treatment modalities and unwavering compassion.

If you are ready to pursue a life committed to your health, relationships and emotional well-being, you have a team that is willing to walk alongside you and restore hope for your future. Let us help you in taking the first step in your journey to recovery.

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