Maintaining abstinence from alcohol after going through withdrawal requires great discipline and dedication. Many people in recovery from alcohol addiction need ongoing therapy to stay
Alcohol Rehab After a Relapse
June 9, 2020
In general, the ultimate goal of seeking alcohol detox followed by alcohol rehab is to avoid relapse in the future and to build a safe, effective recovery plan for the rest of your life. The truth is, however, relapse does still occur in the lives of most addicts. Since addiction is a chronically relapsing disease, it is important not to ignore the possibility that you may experience a relapse and instead, to understand that a relapse may require further help, including another alcohol rehab program.
Summer House Detox Center offers help to people recovering from alcohol abuse, no matter what stage of recovery they are currently experiencing. We are happy to help you work through your addiction syndrome and to build a strong life in recovery that works for you. Call 800-719-1090 now to learn more.
Can Relapse Really Happen After Alcohol Rehab?
Yes. Whether you choose to seek alcohol rehab in Florida or somewhere else in the country, it’s not unlikely that you will experience problems with relapse at some point during your recovery. However, this does not mean you should live in fear of the possibility of relapse, as it is common and in no way means your attempts at recovery have failed.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, rehab has a great track record for helping people recover and live better lives. Most people who seek addiction treatment for either drugs, alcohol, or both, stop abusing substances, become physically and psychologically healthier, and function better at school, at work, at home, and in their communities. Still, relapse is often a part of recovery. This is because addiction is not curable but is rather known as a chronically relapsing disease, meaning the person who suffers from it will often experience lapses that lead to setbacks in recovery.
Addiction, in fact, is a lot like other chronically relapsing diseases, such as asthma, diabetes, and hypertension. People who find out they have these diseases often do well for a while, taking their medication and working hard to manage the issue. Over time, however, they might experience a setback that could be due to many things, such as:
- Failure to use medication properly
- Minimization of medication’s effects
- Minimal interest in managing one’s own condition
- Feelings that the condition is sufficiently managed, leading to less vigilance about one’s condition
Therefore, relapse is normal. It isn’t just a person’s inability to stay sober or avoid alcohol abuse, and it isn’t entirely a problem that could be solved with more willpower. Addiction will always be a part of you, and it’s important to be vigilant about avoiding a return to substance abuse. Unfortunately, though, it does happen in many cases, sometimes more than once.
According to NIDA, 40% to 60% of drug and alcohol addiction patients relapse after rehab. This is compared to 30% to 50% of diabetes patients, 50% to 70% of hypertension patients, and 50% to 70% of asthma patients who relapse as well. It’s important to be aware that this is always a possibility as well as why it happens, rather than simply telling yourself that relapse must be avoided at all costs.
Does Relapse Mean My Recovery Has Failed?
Absolutely not. If you relapse, it means you need more help in order to continue your safe recovery, but it does not mean that you have failed in your journey of recovery, nor does it mean that you need to start over at square one. It might mean you will need additional rehab in order to build new coping skills to avoid relapse in the future.
What Do I Do After a Relapse?
It’s important to be aware of your surroundings, your situation, and to ask for help.
- Consider your surroundings: First things first. Are you safe? Is everyone else safe? Are you worried you might have done something dangerous or something that could have gotten you or someone else in trouble? Try to deal with these issues and make sure you get to a safe place as soon as possible.
- Consider your situation: What, if anything, made you return to alcohol abuse? Were you feeling insecure, lonely, sad, angry, etc.? Did you spend time with someone who made you feel you needed to return to drinking? Did something stressful happen that made you reach for the bottle? If you ask yourself why you returned to alcohol abuse, you can start to understand the reasons behind your relapse in order to avoid it in the future.
- Ask for help: Are you alone? If so or if you are with people you cannot trust, call someone you can. Make sure you get to someone who can sit with you and take care of you until you are sober enough to do so yourself.
After you are safe, sober, and have someone looking out for you, it’s time to ask yourself: Do I need to go back to rehab?
How Do I Know I Need to Go Back to Rehab After a Relapse?
There are many ways you can know if you need to return to rehab after a relapse. For one, ask yourself, “Was this just a slip or a serious relapse?” A slip is a mistake that is minor or short-term. It does not create dire consequences and the individual who undergoes the slip will often realize their mistake before serious issues occur. If, however, you have experienced a setback in your recovery leading to serious consequences, continued abuse, or dangerous actions, you will want to seek rehab again.
Ask yourself these questions. If you answer yes to one of them, rehab is most likely necessary in order to continue your safe recovery.
- Have you been using it for more than a day?
- Has your use escalated from alcohol to something more severe?
- Did you hurt yourself or someone else during your relapse?
- Did you do something that got you in trouble at work, with your loved ones, or with the law?
- Did you isolate yourself from others to avoid dealing with the consequences of your relapse?
- Are you worried you will relapse again soon?
Rehab After Relapse
If you do realize you need to seek further rehab treatment after your relapse, remember not to think of it as a failure. Instead, it’s another step on your journey of recovery, which does not end at a finish line but in the safe and secure daily management of your illness.
According to NIDA, a relapse means treatment may need to be modified or that an individual requires another dose of treatment in order to continue the safe management of their addiction and recovery. When you go back to rehab for alcohol addiction, it will probably feel very different than the first time around.
- Alcohol rehab after relapse involves talking to your doctors, nurses, and therapists about what is working, what isn’t working, and which medications, methods, and behaviors you may need to modify in order to stay healthy and sober.
- Your treatment probably won’t last as long as it did before. If you have been drinking long enough to become dependent on alcohol again, you might need detox first, but if not, your rehab may just need to last a few weeks.
- You can start right from where you are when you seek alcohol rehab after relapse. You do not have to start over from day one.
- You can talk to your doctors about new methods for coping, such as other behavioral therapies, self-control exercises, or holistic therapies like yoga, exercise, pet therapy, etc.
When you go back to rehab after relapse, the process will certainly be familiar but the important thing to remember is that you haven’t failed in your recovery, nor do you need to start over from the beginning. Instead, think of yourself like a car that needs a tune-up. You may just need to make a few tweaks here and there to your lifestyle and your coping mechanisms to help you rebuild and maintain your recovery program. In addition, getting some time away from your day-to-day life so you can reflect on what’s working for you and what’s not will make a big difference as well.
Come to Summer House Detox Center for help
Have you relapsed and need help reestablishing your healthy recovery? Call 800-719-1090 today to speak with us about our program or to find information about rehab after relapse in general. We are always available to speak with you about your recovery through our safe, confidential, and 24-hour hotline. Visit our addiction treatment center in Miami at 13550 Memorial Highway Miami, FL 33161.
Alcohol is the most easily accessible addictive substance in the United States, which is why it’s commonly used with medications like benzodiazepines. Some people combine