No matter how much we wish it wasn’t the case, relapse is a common part of recovery. In fact, relapse rates lie somewhere around 50 percent, with the chances of relapse being the greatest early on during sobriety. While we want to stress that relapse is common it is not inevitable. Due to the high percentage of individuals who do relapse, there are a lot of misconceptions. Here are a few myths about addiction relapse we would like to break.
Myth 1: Everyone Relapses
Like we mentioned above, the relapse rate is about 50 percent. That means there is just as much of a chance that you won’t relapse. A lot of addiction recovery will come down to what you were addicted to, how heavily you used, how long you used, and where you went for your treatment. You can help your chances of staying sober by going into your recovery with a positive and determined mind.
Myth 2: Relapse Means You’ve Failed
Relapse is heartbreaking. Many people think that relapse is proof that sobriety is just too hard, but really, you have not failed until you give up. Sometimes sobriety doesn’t always stick the first time, but often individuals find sobriety after several unfortunate relapses. It’s important to keep positive, and to get sober again as quickly as possible and try to figure out why the relapse happened, so you can do better next time.
Myth 3: Relapse Means You Have to Start Over
A relapse does not mean you have to start from scratch. While a relapse does pose certain challenges, you do have some advantages over the first time you got sober. Remember, you reached out for help, you learned things about yourself that you didn’t know before, and you were able to reconnect with yourself. You may feel more vulnerable, perhaps embarrassed, but remember that you have a support network that is here to help you get back on track, which can make getting sober again easier.
Myth 4: Relapse Happens Without Warning
More often than not, relapse does not just happen out of thin air. Typically an individual will be struggling for a while, and will gradually work toward a relapse. There may be signs to watch for. For instance, individuals may start to take unnecessary risks, like hanging out with “friends” who still use, or finding excused to not attend meetings, or becoming cynical about recovery. It’s important that individuals have a sober network during recovery. These individuals can help be on the watch for dangerous behavior, and will be able to spot signs early on, and help encourage the individual to seek help.
Relapse happens, and it’s nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed by. Sometimes you just have to try again.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, Full Circle Recovery is here to help. Contact us at 951-737-6199 to learn more about our addiction recovery programs. Our facility provides a comfortable, enjoyable environment for addiction treatment, and can help those who are struggling with relapse. Get in touch today to learn more about how we can help.