If you haven’t experienced having a substance use disorder, recovering from one may seem like an easy task. Admit you have a problem, ask for help, receive professional treatment, get sober, and then stay sober. However, anyone that has an addiction or has witnessed a loved one go through treatment will tell you otherwise. Addiction recovery setbacks will happen. Addiction treatment programs are not easy to complete. Often, addiction recovery is not a linear journey.
People in recovery can falter after a period of sobriety. This is called a relapse or a recovery roadblock, and it can cause feelings of disappointment. While a setback like this can seem like a failure, it’s an extremely common part of recovery. Up to 60% of people recovering from a substance use disorder will relapse within their first year of treatment. The chance of going through an addiction setback is something people in recovery live with daily.
If you or someone you care about requires addiction treatment or is going through a difficult recovery, contact Midwest Detox Center online or call 833.647.0392 to find out more about the helpful programs we offer.
What Is a Setback or a Relapse?
Often characterized by going back to substance use, a recovery setback happens typically after a period of detox or abstinence. A relapse can be many things, however, its definition can be very particular and personal.
If you’re on the path to recovery, you might have a different definition of what a setback is in your situation. Some people might call an accidental sip of an alcoholic beverage a recovery setback. Others will only consider something more severe as a relapse, such as a week-long bender or getting drunk after receiving some bad news.
It’s important to determine what your definition is, so you won’t have a difficult recovery. When you know what a setback can look like for you, it’s easier to set rules and boundaries for yourself. You can remain sober and totally in control of your recovery.
What Can Trigger Addiction Recovery Setbacks?
As someone that’s gone through addiction treatment, you may still be attracted to risky behavioral patterns that are attached to having a substance use disorder. Long-term recovery is possible only when you recognize these patterns and learn how to avoid them along with substances you’re likely to abuse.
Along with getting professional help, you also need to cleanse your life completely of anything that can cause a recovery roadblock, such as:
- Certain friends: If your addiction was condoned by some people, being in their presence might not be safe for you. While these friends can be supportive of your recovery and happy that you’re doing better, they might not help you to recover.
- Your family: If you’ve struggled with addiction for a long time, some family members may have developed some enabling behaviors. These can be harmful and conflict with what you’ve learned in addiction treatment programs.
- A messy environment: You need to clean your house, car, and any other place where you spend a lot of time. Get rid of alcohol and drug paraphernalia that’s been accumulating in these spaces during your addiction. Throw away empty beer cans, pill bottles, and anything that reminds you of your addiction. Make sure you’re not hoarding alcohol or drugs anywhere.
What to Do When a Setback Occurs
Many people will feel regret and shame after going through a recovery setback, but these feelings aren’t productive and won’t get them back on the right path.
If you’ve had a relapse, use the experience as part of the groundwork for your long-term recovery. Don’t dwell on your misstep. You can do the following:
- Figure out what triggered your relapse and rearrange your life so that trigger can be avoided from now on: This could mean avoiding certain places or people. You can also eliminate stressors that could push you to substance abuse as a way to cope.
- Determine if you need to detox or go back to treatment, or if you’d benefit from some other form of professional help: Apart from medical help, you can benefit from listening to or building healthy relationships with people in long-term recovery or with people that are also currently dealing with a relapse of their own.
- Remember that recovery is a lifelong process: You might be feeling like you’ve disappointed friends, family, and medical professionals, but it’s important to remember that a relapse doesn’t erase any of the hard work they’ve put into recovery and sobriety.
Learn More About Midwest Detox Center’s Alumni Program
Aftercare should be an important element of addiction treatment plans. The goal is not only for people to get sober while in treatment but to stay sober in the future. We provide a supportive network that will help people through difficult recovery and provide encouragement. If you want to learn more about our alumni program and how it aids in your recovery journey, contact Midwest Detox online or call 833.647.0392.