What To Do If You Suffer A Drug Addiction Relapse

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Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn is a leading industry addiction expert who runs the UK’s largest addiction advisory service and is regularly featured in the national press, radio and TV.

What To Do If You Suffer A Drug Addiction Relapse

Are you having a relapse? Try not to panic. A relapse doesn’t mean you have undone all your good work. It could just be a temporary setback. Here is guidance on what you should do next.

Addiction relapse is a common problem among those going through recovery from drug addictions. Having a relapse means to revert to using the drug that made you addicted. Relapses are not all as terrible as you first think they are. You will experience a vast amount of guilt and you will feel like you have undone all of your hard work. However, if you catch it in time, giving in and using for a single night could be just that: an isolated incident. 

Here is advice from the Help4Addiction experts on what you should do if you suffer from a drug addiction relapse. 

What is Drug Addiction Relapse?

Drug addiction relapse describes what happens when someone who is in recovery from a drug addiction slips up and uses again. Relapses can be a single incident or a prolonged revisit to drug addiction. The shorter the relapse, the greater the chances that you can brush it off and get on with your recovery.

What Triggers a Drug Addiction Relapse?

There are different kinds of triggers for addiction relapse. There are emotional, mental, and physical relapses. Each triggers one another. 

An emotional relapse might happen if a strong emotional response triggers during your recovery. Grief can trigger relapse, for example. You could relapse when a trigger ignites poor mental health, or when you are not taking care of your mental or physical state.

You could relapse because of your social or economic circumstances. You may find it easy to quit during residential rehab but return to your old ways when you return to your old living conditions. Friends can lure you back in using peer pressure. 

Addiction Relapse Doesn’t Undo All Your Hard Work

There are no hard and fast rules for what will trigger your drug addiction relapse. However, one of the primary benefits of doing the therapy work in rehab is that it helps you to define exactly what your triggers are. If you know that doing certain things will increase the chances you will return to your old addiction, you can plan to avoid that relapse. Recognising your own triggers for using drugs or alcohol is a vital tool in fighting your addiction. Once you learn it in rehab, you have that tool forever… whether you relapse or not.

Addiction relapse does not undo all of your hard work. You still have the skills you learned to tackle your addiction when you took part in therapy. If you think another bout of therapy will help you avoid relapse in future, or help you through your current situation, then you can find online therapy through the Help4Addiction site. Don’t forget that you can always return to rehab, too.

Common Drug Addiction Relapses in the UK

You may suffer a relapse of any type of addiction. Some common UK drug addictions include:

No matter the drug you face an addiction relapse with, Help4Addiction can help. Call our agents on 0203 955 7700 to discuss your options in finding a rehab clinic near you. We have the expertise to guide you through all your options. A relapse doesn’t have to mean the end of your recovery. Intervene now and tackle the problem before your drug addiction takes hold once more.


What to do After Addiction Relapse

Here is expert advice on how you can proceed when you wake up the morning after the night before. 

You Can Always Return to Rehab

Use a rehab selection service like ours to help you find a rehab clinic – or a dayhab clinic – which can help get your recovery back on the right track.

Join a Local Group

If you can find a local support group, that peer support could be your road to recovery. Other people will help you realise that their stories are similar to yours. You are not the only one to have a relapse. They can even share with you how they got over it, so you can do the same. 

Contact your Support System

If you already attended a rehab clinic, you may still have ongoing support during your transition back to your normal life. Interact with these aftercare services. You should reach out to the people who supported you through your addiction recovery and let them know you are struggling. Accept the help they give you. 

Carefully Monitor Your Triggers

You should know what your triggers are this far into your recovery journey. Take stock of what you are doing which is putting you in danger of those triggers and take steps to avoid them. If you can anticipate which things, people, places, or situations will set you off, you can plan how you will remove yourself from the situation without putting yourself in harm’s way.

Carefully Consider What Happened

Think through the relapse. Acknowledge what caused it and use the situation as a learning tool to overcome similar situations in the future. This is the most important thing you should do after a relapse. If you can think of it as a learning tool, you do not think of it with the same guilt and shame you initially feel. The second important part is securing yourself against future relapses by recognising the thoughts and feelings that led to your setback.

The Relapse Prevention Plan

If you use this situation as a learning tool, you can make yourself a relapse prevention plan to help yourself in future. Include the advice and knowledge in this article, along with the skills and tools you learned in rehab or therapy. Write a list of these skills and keep it on hand. The next time you start to feel those same feelings which triggered your drug addiction relapse you can arm yourself with your pen and paper strategy. Read through it and remind yourself how you can overcome those feelings without returning to addiction. 

And remember, if you want to go back to rehab again just give us a call.

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