Individuals pursuing recovery often worry about the threat of relapse. While treatment programs teach certain coping mechanisms and offer support systems to help their clients reduce the risk of relapse, many know that it’s still a possibility. As relapse rates fall between 40%-60%, many experts note that this is part of the recovery journey. If you’re in the process of choosing what type of treatment to pursue, you may wonder if one is better than another. While inpatient treatment is the most popular for those overcoming substance abuse disorder, it’s important to consider how this type of treatment affects your chances of relapsing.
Is Relapse Likely After Inpatient Rehab?
The likelihood of relapse after inpatient treatment is shaped more by how an individual chooses to live after they leave treatment. As inpatient treatment offers its residents the opportunity to achieve sobriety without the distractions of their daily lives, it’s particularly effective in guiding clients to recovery while in the confines of the facility. These treatment programs take specific measures to address the likelihood of relapse and work to prevent it. From medically assisted detox to individual and group therapy, treatment facilities work with their clients to ensure that their newly-achieved sobriety isn’t short lived.
Understanding the Risks of Relapse
Relapse typically occurs in the days, weeks, and months after inpatient treatment finishes. Consider the following risks of relapse:
- Being unprepared for life after treatment. During inpatient treatment, it’s easy to forget the same triggers that led to the initial substance abuse. Creating a plan for relapse prevention will help you prepare for life after treatment. This plan should accommodate for anything that may sabotage sobriety like toxic friendships, dysfunctional family dynamics, unhealthy daily routines, and social isolation.
- Quitting for someone else, not for yourself. It’s not uncommon for individuals with substance use disorders to enter treatment in order to please their friends or family members. However, true sobriety requires one to want to quit on their own. The decision to get sober for yourself will greatly reduce the risk of relapse.
- Having a poor support system. Support systems are the key to overcoming the desire to relapse. Anyone that is newly sober needs to join a solid network of support immediately after leaving treatment. This support will make all the difference in their continued journey to recovery.
- Not prioritizing sobriety. Sobriety is a choice that one has to continuously make for the rest of their life. Without a spirited lifelong commitment to recovery, your chances of relapsing will increase. Though it isn’t easy, committing to sobriety every day will help in the fight to stay sober.
Life after treatment is when support is needed the most to reduce the likelihood of relapse. With support systems like 12-step meetings, the new environment of a halfway house or sober living home, regularly scheduled therapy sessions, and similar behavior and habits that encourage sobriety, an individual has a better chance of overcoming the cravings that lead to relapsing.
Steps to Take After a Relapse
The most important thing to do after a relapse is to get back on track with sobriety. If you are not in immediate danger of overdosing, take the following steps after a relapse:
- Reach out to friends and family for help. The sober people in your life can help you cope after a relapse. It’s best to surround yourself with loved ones that remind you that you aren’t alone. These sober friends will be able to offer guidance about the next steps to take.
- Attend self-help groups. Groups like SMART Recovery, 12-Step programs, and other support groups are essential after a relapse. These places offer non-judgmental environments where you can discuss your relapse as you learn how others have coped with similar issues in their past.
- Avoid triggers. Triggers can increase the cravings for substances, especially after a relapse. It’s important to remove yourself from all triggers immediately after relapsing.
- Consider going back to treatment. As recovery is a skill that must be practiced, there is no shame in relapsing or returning to treatment. Relapsing offers you the opportunity to continue your journey to sobriety. It’s important to seek out a treatment program to help you regain your sobriety.
There is no one-size-fits-all plan for relapse prevention. If you have any more questions about inpatient treatment and relapse prevention, call us now at 833-762-3739. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day.