Recent research has shown that roughly half of the people who enter a treatment program for their drug or alcohol addiction will relapse within less than a year of being released from it.
While statistics like this might sound discouraging, relapsing is actually considered a normal part of the recovery process because of all the physical and emotional challenges that an addicted person is going through.
In fact, the medical community considers relapsing to be a symptom of addiction and recovery. That is why many rehab centers offer special rehab programs that provide extended care which can last throughout a person’s lifetime.
For those addicted individuals who have recently relapsed, trying to figure out what to do next can feel pretty overwhelming, though. It helps to understand how rehab centers can help get them back on track again.
What To Do After A Relapse: A Step-By-Step Guide
The first step that a person who is seeking addiction treatment after a relapse should take is to call their treatment sponsor right away.
This step is very important because there is a good chance that their drug or alcohol binge could happen again if they don’t get the support that they need to overcome the relapse. If a treatment sponsor isn’t available, it helps to call a trusted friend or family member instead.
Next, remove all the drugs or alcohol from the home so that they won’t be a temptation. It may be necessary to call a local police department for help with this process if the substances are illegal.
Lastly, the addicted person needs to try to get away from any places or people which could trigger them to start using drugs or alcohol again. For example, an individual with an alcohol use disorder should avoid going to a bar or seeing their old drinking buddies.
What Are My Treatment Options After A Relapse?
People who are seeking addiction treatment after a relapse have several options to choose from. Most of them depend on the type of substance that a person is addicted to.
For instance, those who are addicted to drugs that cause serious withdrawal symptoms, such as opiates, would probably need to be admitted into a treatment center that can help with the detoxification process.
But a man or woman who is addicted to alcohol may want to enter a 12-step program instead. Some of the other treatment options that are available include partial hospitalization, inpatient and outpatient therapy, and aftercare programs.
Do I Have To Go Back To Rehab After A Relapse?
Going back to rehab after a relapse is usually the last thing that a person wants to do, but it may be the only way to help get them headed back on the path to sobriety.
The best way to tell if going back to rehab after a relapse is necessary is to look at how serious the relapse was and consider the likeliness that a person will use drugs or alcohol again.
If a person has only had one drink, they may be able to stop on their own. However, someone who has had an extended drug binge lasting several weeks or more should be admitted to a rehab program right away, because they could overdose if they don’t get urgent medical care.
It is important to mention that one of the main reasons that a person ends up having to return to a rehab center is because they didn’t stay in treatment long enough the first time.
Certain studies have proven that long-term drug and alcohol treatment is much more effective than short-term care. If a person has to be in short-term care, the risk of them relapsing can be reduced by placing them in relapse prevention programs afterwards.
How To Find A Rehab Center After A Relapse
If you or your loved one have recently relapsed, going back to rehab may be the best option to getting back on the path to sobriety. Let Elevate Addiction Services help you get the treatment you need to overcome addiction once and for all.
Our highly trained treatment specialists will work with you and help you make addiction a part of your past. Contact us today to learn more.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse — Principles of Effective Treatment
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: National Institutes of Health — Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery