If you have overcome addiction and are working hard on your recovery, you have most likely learned that you are always one step away from relapse. Relapse is real but is not an endpoint. It is a step in the right direction after a small bump in the road. The only ones to truly understand the cause, feeling, and healing from a relapse are those who have experienced it.
Our Westwind Recovery® team provides relapse prevention as one of our addiction treatment therapy programs. We recognize that relapse is simply part of a recovery journey, so we want to dispel common myths about relapse. Learn more about how we can help you or someone you care about learn to prevent a relapse by completing our online contact form or calling 855.340.8832.
7 Myths About Relapse We’re Here to Debunk
1. If You Relapse, You Have Failed
First of all, understand that you are not a failure. Even if you relapse and never find your way back to the sober ground, you are never a failure. Fighting your addiction may be the most difficult battle you will ever face. In fact, looking at relapse as if it were a failure is a surefire way to land yourself with feelings of guilt, self-hatred, shame, worthlessness, and so much more. Instead, relapse should be viewed as another part of the road to recovery. It happens to a lot of people who share your goal. Dust yourself off and start moving forward again.
2. Having One Night of Fun with Your Chosen Substance Is Not a Relapse
Unfortunately, many people believe that having fun with a different drug or even taking a legal prescription drug won’t hurt. However, a relapse can be defined as a moment of declining health after a bout of steadily improving health. So while in recovery, if you decide to engage in drug or alcohol use, it is a relapse. It only takes one decision to sidetrack your recovery.
3. It’s Okay to Use as Long as You Avoid the “Harder” Drugs
If someone is in treatment for cocaine or opioid addiction, drinking alcohol is still not a good idea. While it may seem like a “lighter” drug, it can impair your thinking and can potentially lead you to make poor choices. To succeed in recovery, you will want to avoid all drugs, especially those that can alter your mind and your judgment.
4. Loved Ones Can’t Do Anything to Prevent a Relapse
When you were in treatment, you likely heard about the importance of having a support system. This consists of a group of individuals who have your best interests in mind. Your friends and family help you and offer support when you aren’t feeling strong. You will have moments of weakness and uncertainty. This is when you can lean on your support system to help you avoid a relapse.
5. Those Who Are Most Dedicated to Their Recovery Won’t Relapse
As soon as you are starting to succeed in recovery, you risk a relapse. There is no picking and choosing who this will happen to. Anyone can relapse. Of course, the more dedicated you are to your recovery, the stronger you may feel. But relapse can happen despite everything you do.
6. There’s Nothing You Can Do to Prevent Relapse
There is plenty you can do to prevent a relapse. When you were in treatment, you learned valuable lessons that can help you when you are feeling tempted or when you find yourself in a moment of weakness.
You can prevent relapse by:
- Using your coping skills
- Seeking support from those around you
- Being open and honest
You are stronger than you think. You spend weeks, days, and months practicing, learning, and growing in recovery so that when moments of potential relapse arise, you know what to do.
7. Sober Living Isn’t Good for Recovery
Sober living facilities are one of the best places to head after treatment. Did you know that nearly 75% of those in recovery will relapse within the first year? Choosing a sober living home after treatment means that you can continue growing and learning in a safe environment. You have the support from those residents you share a home with, and you have guidance to face the stresses of daily life. Getting thrown back into your old life and being strong and overcoming it while remaining sober creates a perfect storm for relapse. With a sober living home, you can ease your way back in, reducing your chance of relapse.
Avoid a Relapse with Support from Westwind Recovery®
Your recovery is important. While no one wants to experience a relapse, it may happen when you least expect it. A relapse just means that you need to get back up and keep going. At Westwind Recovery®, our team wants people to see that the myths about addiction relapse can prevent them from getting the treatment they need. If you’re interested in more information about the myths about relapse, contact our team today by calling 855.340.8832 or filling out our online form.
Dr. Deena is the Chief Clinical Officer of Westwind Recovery®, an award-winning outpatient treatment center in Los Angeles where she oversees the clinical and administrative program and treatment methods. Dr. Deena is a doctor of psychology and licensed clinical social worker since 1993. LCSW #20628. Originally from the East Coast, Dr. Deena has worked running treatment centers, worked as a therapist in psychiatric hospitals as well as school settings and currently has a thriving private practice in the LA area. Dr. Deena has appeared regularly on the Dr. Phil Show as an expert since 2003. She has also been featured on many other TV shows, podcasts and has contributed to written publications as well as podcasts.