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Should You Go Back into Treatment After a Relapse?

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Relapses are unfortunately common during addiction recovery. Anywhere between 40 and 60 percent of people will relapse at some point in their first year after treatment. Some even go so far as to say that relapse is part of recovery. Others say that expecting a relapse only sets you up for failure. And there are certainly good reasons to do whatever you can to avoid a relapse. For example, overdoses are most common after a period of sobriety, when your tolerance has dropped. A relapse can also be demoralizing, making another attempt more difficult. However, if a relapse does happen, it’s important to get back on course as quickly as possible. Does that mean you should go back into treatment?

Should I Go Back to Treatment?

That largely depends on your circumstances. First, the severity of your relapse makes a difference. Did you just have a beer with lunch? Did you have many drinks and wake up hungover? Have you been on a bender for the past eight weeks? It’s important to learn what you can from such a slip-up, even if it doesn’t seem like a big deal. It’s also important to see a slip-up as a warning and not as an indication that you can drink or use in moderation. There is no need to go back into treatment after a minor slip-up, but it may be a good idea to go recommit yourself to mutual aid meetings, like a 12-step recovery support group.

If you have a more serious relapse, lasting days, weeks or more, you might have to consider other options. First, if your relapse has lasted long enough that you have developed a physical dependence, you may want to at least detox under medical supervision. This is especially true if you are detoxing from alcohol and have had complications, such as seizures or severe confusion, while detoxing in the past.

Consider Your Options

After you’ve detoxed again, you can consider what to do next. Although many people think they have to start over after a relapse, they may actually have more resources than they realize. They have already seen a therapist and probably learned some emotional regulation skills, life skills, and communication skill that will continue to serve them. They may also have a stronger support network in place and only need to reconnect to it. With these resources in mind, entering inpatient treatment again might not be necessary. However, there are other options, such as entering a partial hospitalization program, or PHP, or an intensive outpatient program, or IOP. It is possible, of course, that a severe relapse might require another round of inpatient treatment, but it’s a good idea to consider all the options.

Origins Behavioral Healthcare is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance abuse, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renown clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety.

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