Completing treatment in a residential drug and alcohol rehab is a great way to begin your life in recovery, as tens of thousands of alcoholics and addicts also do every year. However, treatment for addiction does not guarantee recovery and rehab is not designed to be a permanent solution by itself. Treatment centers provide recommendations for aftercare, and sometimes alcoholics and addicts disregard these critical instructions to their detriment. Sadly, a considerable percentage of people that complete treatment will relapse after discharge.
A relapse may take days, weeks, months, or even years, but invariably the cause of the relapse results from an alcoholic or addict not following the instructions that they received in treatment. Many alcoholics and addicts wonder whether returning to a treatment facility after a relapse makes sense, and you may be wondering this yourself. Below are some considerations for you to take into account if you are thinking about whether you should return to treatment after a relapse.
How Long has the Relapse Lasted?
There is a difference between what is commonly called a slip and a full-blown relapse. A slip is a situation where you might drink, or use drugs, for a day or two and then come to your senses and resume your recovery. Often, in retrospect, you can see why you had a slip. Regardless of the reason, at some point, you believed in the falsehood that you could safely drink alcohol or use drugs. Resuming alcohol or drug use after a period of abstinence typically makes you feel sick, so you decided that it was a mistake and stopped drinking or using within a short time frame. This behavior is a slip and usually does not require inpatient treatment. A relapse is a different animal altogether. While the reasons behind a relapse may be the same as they are for a slip, a relapse lasts longer. Relapses entail the resumption of the same type of alcohol and drug abuse that led you into treatment the first time, and often relapses are worse because the disease of addiction is progressive. If you are experiencing a total relapse like this, you should return to treatment so that your brain can heal, and you can evaluate where you went wrong in your recovery.
What is the Extent of Your Dependence on Your Drug of Choice?
Alcohol and many other drugs create a physical dependence for alcoholics and addicts. Your relapse may cause such a dependency, and there are symptoms that you are likely aware of in this regard. For example, if you are a relapsing alcoholic, you may wake up every morning craving a drink to get rid of the shakes and be able to face the day. An opiate addict may have to use regularly or else suffer the horrible sickness that accompanies opiate withdrawal. Likewise, if you are a benzodiazepine addict, you might need to continually use the drug to fend off the extreme discomfort that results from cessation of use. Physical dependence on drugs or alcohol almost always necessitates treatment. Withdrawing from alcohol and drugs, such as benzodiazepines, is dangerous to attempt on your own and you should go to treatment under these conditions. Also, do not deceive yourself into thinking that detox will be enough to treat a relapse that creates a physical dependence. You would find it exceedingly difficult to recover after a three to five-day detox because although a detox will medicate you through the acute phase of withdrawal, the post-acute withdrawal afterward is almost impossible to manage on your own.
What are the Consequences of Your Relapse?
A relapse may create some serious problems for you. Similar to the first time that you went into treatment, you might have considerable issues with relationships, employment, finances, or physical health. Possibly, you ran afoul of the law and are facing criminal charges. Most likely, you are encountering a combination of different problems resulting from your relapse, and these can be just as overwhelming as the disease of addiction itself. Re-entering treatment in the face of devastating consequences may seem to you like the easy way out, and perhaps you feel guilty or shameful about the fact that you have been to rehab before.
These feelings of guilt and shame are rooted in your addiction, and you must disregard them. There is nothing more important than your health and well-being, and if you are suffering a relapse, then these aspects of your life are in jeopardy, so you should go to treatment. The bottom line is that if you, or those you love, think that treatment for your addiction is worth another shot, then you should take that shot. Every year, thousands of alcoholics and addicts tragically pass away because they decide not to go to treatment. Your life is precious beyond measure, so give us a call right now at 833-762-3739 to start over and get your recovery back on track.