Relapse is not a necessary part of recovery, but it is very common. Many people require several attempts at sobriety before finally being able to overcome addiction and alcoholism. The most important thing to know about relapse is that it is not a sign of failure. Relapse simply means that one must summon the courage to try again and recognize what mistakes may have been made previously. Recovery is possible for anyone, even if it requires multiple attempts. Experiencing even a mild relapse can cause one to become distraught and believe that recovery is not possible. However, relapse is a part of many people’s recovery stories. Addiction is a disease, and relapse rates mirror the reoccurrence of symptoms of other disease like hypertension and diabetes—between 40 and 60 percent. Rather than taking a relapse as a sign that recovery is not possible, one should do their best to learn from the experience and apply their new knowledge to their next attempt at achieving and maintaining sobriety. The likelihood of relapse at some point can be discouraging for those attempting to recover from addiction or alcoholism. It may cause one to believe that their specific problems with alcohol and drugs are too extreme to be successfully treated. The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains, “Treatment of chronic diseases involves changing deeply imbedded behaviors, and relapse does not mean treatment has failed. For a person recovering from addiction, lapsing back to drug use indicates that treatment needs to be reinstated or adjusted or that another treatment should be tried.” Changing behaviors related to addiction can be very difficult, and may require multiple attempts at treatment. Not only must we heal physically, but we also must heal mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. These changes do not occur overnight, and require sincere determination to adhere to the principles of recovery. Relapse does not mean recovery is not possible. If one relapses, they must summon the courage to attempt, once again, to achieve and maintain sobriety. There is not shame in relapse, and it is helpful to reflect on the reasoning and situations that led up to the relapse as a learning experience. We can see what was working and what wasn’t working for us, and apply that to our next attempt at recovery.
Your story doesn’t have to be one of pain and suffering as a result of addiction. You can make the decision to seek help today and embark upon the rewarding journey of recovery. Oceanfront Recovery, located in beautiful Laguna Beach, is staffed with caring and compassionate professionals dedicated to guiding clients along the path of recovery to achieve and maintain lasting sobriety. For information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777