Something went wrong and you’ve relapsed and now you feel like an absolute failure. Your mind automatically jumps to the conclusion that you are a helpless case and you will be stuck in the cycle of active addiction forever.
But you are wrong!
Relapsing does not diminish you as a person, it simply means that you need to adjust your coping strategies and remember what caused you to start using drugs or alcohol in the first place.
Relapse is not necessarily a single event. It is a process and it doesn’t come out of nowhere. Once you learn to recognise the signs and the feelings, you can make a choice to choose another path. This is not easy, you may have to ask for help, you may feel completely hopeless but with an active support system in place you have a far better chance of beating substance use disorders.
This is how a relapse starts:
- You may experience recall euphoria and reminisce on all the ‘fun, good’ times you had. Keep in mind, that is a selective memory that is overriding all the awful times you also had while in active addiction.
- You may have been sober for a while now, so what’s the harm? You have this under control now, right? Be careful of this, it’s a nasty trap that can also lead to cross-addiction.
- Cross-addiction is simply replacing your drug of choice with something else. If you were addicted to cocaine, you may start to drink more and more.
- Boredom and loneliness can make you feel even more isolated and now that you have distanced yourself from your old group of friends, you find yourself without a meaningful social life.
- Even if you have completed primary care rehab treatment, you may also want to get involved with the aftercare services run by the rehab or even go to and AA or NA recovery meeting.
Contact Relapse Prevention for more information on what to do if you relapse.