Sober living

Relapse Stages, Prevention Plans & What to Do After

People who maintain sobriety for several weeks or months become much less tolerant than they were in the past. If they relapse and use the same dose that they used during active addiction, their risk of overdose is high. Some people find it helpful to try a somewhat different approach to their recovery after experiencing a relapse.

However, a relapse, whilst not a personal failure, is still serious. Do not ignore a relapse as it may lead to falling back into addiction and serious health problems. If you are struggling with mental urges, and find yourself in the first stage of relapse, talk to someone.

What to Do if You Relapse

Only when you accept the fact you need help can you get the help you need. The American Society of Addiction Medicine  (ASAM) defines relapse as the recurrence of behavioral or other substantive indicators of active disease after a period of remission. The designation triggers responsibilities for the WHO and its member states related to monitoring and gathering and sharing information. “The types of symptoms and how severe they are usually depend more on a person’s immunity and overall health rather than which variant causes the infection,” the agency said.

Viewed at with reference to our topic of addiction relapse, that’s a huge number of people potentially going through this same event as you. When such a significant event occurs, it is not just the event itself that directly impacts us. When we are talking about relapse, our reaction can make a world of difference. Relapse means that something is missing in your recovery plan.

Marlatt’s Relapse Prevention Model: A Mistake, Not Failure

If these feelings persist then you may be more likely to relapse in the future. Another trigger is experiencing changes in your support what to do after a relapse network. Your support network is a group of people, resources, and programs that you utilize to help you stay focused on your recovery.

what to do after a relapse

Find people who are willing to support you through difficult times and make sure that you build strong bonds with them. In fact, research has revealed that people who struggle with substance addiction experience increased desire for using substances during periods of stress. This is even more true if the person primarily used substances as a coping mechanism for difficult emotions. Positive moods can create the danger of relapse, especially among youth.

Try to reframe this relapse as a learning experience, not a failure.

If you’ve experienced a relapse or are nervous about one occurring in the future, you are not alone. Even just reading this article today is an incredible step towards growing stronger in your sobriety. Choosing sobriety is an incredible decision, and one that can be made over and over again. The clinicians on the Monument platform are ready to help support you at every step.

Nevertheless, the first and most important thing to know is that all hope is not lost. Relapse triggers a sense of failure, shame, and a slew of other negative feelings. It’s fine to acknowledge them, but not to dwell on them, because they could hinder the most important action to take immediately—seeking help.

Get Support

Collaborating with experts ensures necessary adjustments are made according to individual needs while addressing any identified areas requiring improvement moving forward. As soon as a patient in recovery changes the way they think about addiction, believing it to be positive rather than negative, relapse becomes highly likely. This is quickly followed by the mental relapse stage; this is where someone becomes fully aware of the mental conflict they are suffering from. This involves a constant internal battle between staying sober and holding off cravings. If you have relapsed, it is vital to take steps right away to get back on the path toward recovery.

These are the initial warning signs that a recovering person may be skirting the edge of a relapse, and it’s important to recognize them as soon as possible. At this stage, the individual may not even be aware that they’re in danger of a relapse. Some people attend support groups for their entire lives and find happiness in supporting others trying to overcome addiction. Others surround themselves with protective factors that motivate them to stay sober. They find stable employment, start a family or engage in healthy hobbies. Once the danger of overdose is removed, you should reach out to your support system and find a safe living environment.