When people hear the word relapse, they think that means the end of recovery. Some other words that might pop into a person’s head are failure, shame, regret, and other negative connotations which are only slightly true and relevant. Words have a way of harming people when they get stuck in their head and are not able to be released. When thinking about relapse, it is important to think about it as to why relapse happened and learning how to navigate life from there forward with a focus on hope.
Why Relapse Happens
A person may relapse at any time for any reason or at any point in recovery. Even if they did everything they could to prevent relapse, that does not stop it happening. Bad habits, old ways of thinking, and setbacks in life can trigger relapse. When a person takes drugs, the brain chemistry changes and shifts. Overstimulation of the reward circuit part of the brain leads people to think about using drugs more and cravings come back. Sometimes this happens with other activities that stimulate the same part of the brain, which is why cross-addiction can happen as well. Some people simply cannot fathom how to continue on in recovery once they relapse. They feel they’ve let themselves and loved ones down who have supported them on their journey.
Recovery is not a cure for addiction. There are many ways to enter recovery and focus on the healing journey but recovery is not about the best, most expensive treatment out there or finding the best therapists. In reality, anyone can be susceptible to the ravages of addiction regardless of how much money or influence they have. The key to finding a way out of the relapse mindset of feeling ashamed and vulnerable is to get back up and keep trying. There may be things you can do to help yourself or a loved one get support:
- Look over medications to make sure they are all working properly and make any necessary changes
- Speak with therapists and be sure you are getting the right support
- Look for treatment options to help with post relapse recovery
- Seek support groups who will help you navigate recovery
Even though people may feel the end of the line in recovery happens with relapse, don’t despair. Offer hope, not shame, belief, not fear, to those who are struggling if you have loved ones who are wrestling with relapse. Emotions and physical feelings will be heightened but you can offer help and hope to people so they can find the healing they need to recover.
Oceanfront is located in Laguna Beach, a quiet, serene place to heal from addiction. We offer treatment for your journey whether it is post-relapse or the first time you’ve received treatment. We are located in beautiful Laguna Beach. Call us to find out how we can help you navigate addiction recovery: 888-981-4295