There is no “quick fix” for addiction. Treatment takes time, and recovery is long-term effort. You must make conscious choices every day to reduce the risk of relapse and stay healthy. That being said, if you do have a slip, that does not mean that treatment or recovery have failed. It is a warning sign that something needs to change. You need to re-evaluate what you’re doing and make adjustments so that you can continue moving forward in sobriety.
Slips or relapses are most likely to occur during early recovery when you’re still adjusting and figuring out what a lifestyle of recovery looks like for you after treatment. Unexpected temptations may occur or situations where you’re unsure how to cope may present themselves. If you do experience a slip, do not give up and give in. You can still turn things around and get back on track with your recovery.
First, get yourself to a safe space. Remove yourself from whatever environment led to your drinking or drug use and go somewhere that you know those substances are not available. This could mean leaving a friend’s house and going home, to a support group meeting, or to a sober buddy’s. Or maybe it means going to the park or out for a run. Get a change of scenery and away from temptation.
Tell someone what happened and get the support you need. You can’t change the past, but you can reduce risk for the future. Always know who you can call when you’re stressed, experience a slip, or are feeling tempted. This is part of the importance of building a strong support system. You may want to go to a support group meeting and talk it out there with others who understand.
Consider what led to your slip. Were you hanging out with friends who are a poor influence? Were you in a location that made you more vulnerable? Did you let stress overwhelm you instead of taking steps to control it? Perhaps some of your relapse prevention strategies are not as effective as they were when you first started recovery. It may be time to figure out some new strategies or make some changes to what you’re currently doing.
If your slip does turn into relapse, or you’re having trouble refocusing and getting back to what you should be doing in recovery, entering treatment again may be a good option. You may benefit from some outpatient treatment or even residential care to help you return to sobriety and overcome challenges.
Do not give up. There is hope and help available. A slip or relapse does not mean that a life of recovery is unobtainable for you or that it’s hopeless. You achieved sobriety before and you can do it again. Crossroads is here to help. We walk beside you each step of the way and provide the support, strategies, and resources you need to be more successful in your recovery. Remember who you wanted to be and keep striving for your goals at Crossroads.
[cta]Are you struggling to overcome a slip or relapse? Call Crossroads today and get the help you need.[/cta]