Diabetes is never cured. Likewise, doctors rarely tell a cancer patient that their condition is cured; it’s far more likely that if signs and symptoms are gone, they are told that they are in remission.
Just like these diseases, there is no cure for addiction; there are strategies to manage it. When a substance use disorder is managed effectively, the person with an addiction is in recovery. And, just like with other diseases, a recurrence of the condition is possible. A relapse is the recurrence of a substance use disorder. For many, it is part of their journey to a permanently substance-free life. Is treatment after relapse necessary?
What Is a Relapse?
Relapse is the recurrence of a substance use disorder. Contrary to what many people believe, it is not simply a single incident of substance use after a period of sobriety. It is also the series of thoughts and experiences that precede substance use. A relapse can occur over several days, weeks or months.
So, when you think about relapse in the greater context of the recovery process, it’s important to understand that there are likely several factors contributing to a relapse. It’s helpful for many people who have relapsed to revisit their treatment.
If You Relapse, Do You Need to Go Back to Treatment?
The short answer is yes. If you relapse, you should go back to treatment to determine what is and isn’t working in your approach to recovery. Depending on the severity and extent of your relapse, inpatient treatment might be the most effective way to re-establish your approach to recovery.
By going back to treatment, you can reassess your recovery strategy. Medical detox is useful for those who have relapses with heavy drug and alcohol use. Through clinical evaluation, intensive healing and meetings with your case manager, you can determine a plan for aftercare monitoring and relapse prevention.
The Importance of Relapse Prevention
Whether you have never relapsed, are in the early stages of a potential relapse or hoping to continue recovery after a relapse, you will benefit from a relapse prevention plan, which includes identifying and having access to resources that will help you in your journey.
Your prevention plan should be unique to your needs and preferences. At Makana Path, we assess our clients’ situation to determine the tools they might implement to prevent a relapse. Those tools include individual therapy, group therapy, physical exercise, a healthy diet and 12-step education.
Prevention is always better than dealing with the fallout of a relapse, so it’s wise to really take the threat of one serious. That means being able to identify the warning signs.
Warning Signs of a Relapse
If you experience the following symptoms, consider revisiting treatment to prevent it from happening…
- Entertaining the idea of drinking or taking drugs.
- Romanticizing drugs, alcohol or your experiences on substances.
- Withdrawing from loved ones.
- Deviating from treatment.
- Missing meetings or group therapy sessions.
- Persistent stress, depression or anxiety.
These are just a few examples that a relapse could be possible. It’s essential to speak to your therapist, case manager, sponsor or loved ones for support. If you have relapsed, you should not give in to your substance use disorder or consider it a failure. For many people, it is simply part of the journey, so long as you can use it as a learning tool to move forward.
Contact Makana Path to Learn About Treatment After Relapse
Whether you believe you are vulnerable to a relapse or you’ve relapsed and want to revisit your treatment, Makana Path is here to help. We believe that returning to basics can help you figure out the best way to alter your treatment to stay substance-free. To learn more about how we can help you, contact Makana Path today by calling 1-866-905-4550.