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What to Do When You Relapse

When you relapse, it feels devastating. You feel like a failure, like you’ve let everybody down. Your parents. Your children. Your friends. Family. Coworkers. AA members. You’ve always known you’re a failure and now you’ve proved it to everyone.

STOP. That’s your addiction talking. Trying to woe you back into its grasp.

You relapsed. So what? You’re not the first person and you won’t be the last. Just because you messed up, whether it was just today or if you’ve been on a bender for the last seven days, it doesn’t mean you give up.

But what are you supposed to do now that you’ve relapsed?

Here’s what.

Stop Using

No matter how big your relapse, stop now before it gets any worse. After all, you’ve really only got two options: keep using or quit. Choose the right one. If your relapse was small, do what you need to do to stop. Go out of town. Lock yourself in a room. Call three of your best friends and ask them to stay with you for a day or two.

Is Treatment Necessary?

If your relapse was longer, think about if you need to go to detox or drug and alcohol treatment. If you’re unsure, seek out a drug and alcohol evaluation. This should let you know if you qualify for inpatient treatment, IOP, or if outpatient would be more appropriate. If you think you may need to go to a rehab center, call 800-481-6320Who Answers? for help.

Go to a Meeting

When You Relapse

Attending a meeting after your relapse will help remind you of why you quit using.

Once you’ve stopped using, get to a meeting. It doesn’t matter if it’s not your normal meeting or if you know anyone there, just go. Surrounding yourself with people embracing recovery helps you from negative thinking and reminds you of what sobriety means in your life.

Call Your Sponsor

Remember that person who stood by your side and helped you walk the steps? Remember how he made you call him every day for the first month you were in the Rooms? Sponsors sponsor because they care and they want to help. Utilize them. Admittedly your sponsor would prefer if you called before you relapsed, but it’s not a perfect world and sponsors understand that. They also understand what it’s like to be addicted and they won’t judge you. As a matter of fact, chances are they’ll respect your accountability.

Ask for Support

Although you might not want to tell your loved ones about your relapse, you need to be open and honest in your recovery. Sit down and tell them what happened, and explain what your plan is to get back on track. Ask for their support and share your relapse triggers and warning signs so they can help you with relapse prevention.

Make It a Learning Experience

Instead of focusing on all the negatives regarding your relapse, make it a learning experience. Relapse doesn’t just happen, and very rarely does it happen without warning. Examine what lead up to the relapse and what you could have done different. Take that knowledge and implement it into a new relapse prevention plan.

Have You Relapsed?

Is addiction controlling your life? Have you recently relapsed and need to get into treatment? Call 800-481-6320Who Answers? today and become stronger than ever.

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