What Are The Chances of Staying Clean and Sober After Addiction Treatment?
Attending an addiction treatment program takes courage and is a big step towards the life you have always wanted in sobriety. While there is no denying that addiction treatment is hard work as you gain an understanding of why you have been turning to substances to cope, it is merely the first step towards the rest of your life. Choosing a life of sobriety is a lifelong commitment that requires continuing with aftercare that keeps you focused on your overall wellbeing and recovery. Those who continue with recovery-related programs such as aftercare group sessions, 12 step meetings, or SMART recovery meetings have a higher chance of staying sober as you remain close to your original purpose of maintaining sobriety with the support of others who are going through or have experienced similar challenges and successes as you.
Rates of Relapse
The first year of recovery is often the most challenging for individuals as you embark on your year of “firsts” meaning experiencing times of years such as birthdays or holidays that usually are centered around drinking or using drugs. Without the proper support and focus on recovery, it can become all too easy to fall back into old habits. Below are some sobering statistics about the dangers and potential of relapse while in recovery.
- Nearly 30% of people that are trying to quit drinking will relapse within their first year of sobriety.
- Drug addiction demonstrates similar risks for relapse within the first year with nearly 40-60% of individuals relapsing within their first year.
- For those that participate in an aftercare program or 12 step groups, the rate for relapse drops down to a 20% risk
- People that have been sober for longer than 5 years have a significantly less chance of potential relapse with only 15% of individuals resulting in a relapse.
Does a Relapse Mean that Treatment Has Failed?
A common misconception about relapse is that, if it occurs, the person has failed at sobriety and all their efforts were unsuccessful. This is simply not the case. Relapse is a part of many individuals’ recovery journey and does not reflect on who you are or what you are capable of achieving. You were able to remain sober for a period of time and when you reflect back on your time in active addiction, there were probably times when you believed you couldn’t go even 24 hours without using drugs or drinking. What a relapse highlights is that there are areas where you can continue to grow. You can learn from your relapse and continue to build upon the foundation you’ve already created for your recovery. You can gain important insights into your triggers and learn new ways to manage challenging situations or difficult emotions. It’s important to view this as an opportunity to continue to better yourself and learn from the situation. The fact that you want to work towards sobriety again shows that your ability to love yourself and care for your future is still present and you deserve the life you want for yourself.
What To Do If You Experience a Relapse
If you experience a relapse, there are ways you can work through your emotions and guilt and get yourself back on track towards recovery. It is important to remember to try and do the following things:
- Identify what went wrong- Were there unexpected triggers? Did you have the support you needed? Identify the thoughts, emotions, and situations that arose and brainstorm how you could get through those again without turning to substance use.
- Avoid isolation- It is common after relapse to feel embarrassed or ashamed that a relapse happened and many opt not to reach out to the recovery community they build to disclose about their relapse. This is a time more than ever that it is important to reach out to those who support you to help keep you focused on regaining your sobriety.
- Drop feelings of shame or guilt- While it is common to immediately feel these emotions. It is important to remember that relapse is a part of recovery for some but the first step for healing from relapse is accepting it happened. From there, you can begin to work on how to better prepare and equip yourself with the tools you need to avoid any future relapses.
- Commit yourself to sobriety again- Having acceptance that relapse happens is important but it is also key that you remind yourself of what is leading you to want to have a life of sobriety. Find your purpose again for living a life in recovery and commit to taking the steps you need to get you back on track for a healthy, sober life.
Going Back to Treatment After Relapse
For many people, the best course of action after relapse is to go back to rehab. Going back to treatment doesn’t mean you’re starting over from scratch. A relapse is a sign that something isn’t working and a change is required. Going back to rehab is an opportunity to build upon the foundation you’ve already laid for yourself and to continue to grow and learn.
Whether you’re going to rehab for the first time or returning after a relapse, The Healing Place is ready to welcome you with open arms. To learn more, call (844) 762-3755 and speak with a treatment specialist anytime, day or night.