Relapse…5 Things you need to do immediately, if you slip after drug rehab
No matter who you are or how seriously you take your personal battle towards sobriety, the statistics say that you are likely to slip at least once after drug r alcohol rehab. Here are 5 things you need to do to make sure a slip doesn’t become a full blown relapse.
It's easy to get discouraged when contemplating a seeming eternity of sobriety and struggle with temptation, and the statistics of relapse do not offer great encouragement either. About 40% of drug rehab participants can use that time of therapy as a springboard to a lifetime of sobriety, and the other 60% will find themselves drinking or drugging again.
Unfortunately, the statistics say that even if you make a committed and determined effort at recovery, at some point and in response to enough temptation, you are going to have a slip and have to wake up that next morning with the terrible knowledge of what you’ve done.
Aftercare may help you avoid that slip
The first step is of course to try to avoid that slip in the first place, and to stay involved and active in the therapies of aftercare; and follow that relapse prevention plan you crafted in rehab to the letter. It’s a lot easier to avoid temptation than deal with it, and prevention is always the first and best course of action.
But if you do slip (and most of us do, no matter how we try) this does not mean that you have to resume your old ways, abandon your attempts at abstinence as a failure, and give up on a better life of sobriety and happiness.
No one wants to slip, but if you do, you need to use it as a learning experience.
What to do if you slip
1) Don’t give up. Too many people take a small slip and use it as an excuse for a binge of epic proportions. You slipped once; it doesn’t mean you have to do it again.
2) Get into a sober environment immediately. After a slip, everything else needs to take a backseat to the importance of getting to a safe and sober place. Run into the arms of sober friends or family, and cling to their support until you feel strong enough to carry on without using.
3) Get back into aftercare with vigor. A lot of people eventually have a slip or a relapse after getting a bit overconfident, and slacking off on participation in aftercare. A slip tells you all you need to know about how much you require continuing therapy. Get to a meeting, get to a support group, and get to a therapist…and do it often.
4) Rewrite your relapse prevention plan. It's great to consult with a professional for this, as you need to really get to the bottom of the factors that influenced your slip back to use. Once you understand why you slipped, you can use this knowledge to strengthen your relapse prevention plan to reflect the temptations that led you back to drinking or drugging.
5) Don't be too hard on yourself. This doesn’t mean that you can condone any actions that make a future slip likely; but feel good that got back up and had the strength and the wisdom to carry on, get the help you needed, and start back down the road to sobriety.
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