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To the outside world, relapse looks like failure. It looks like giving up, like a choice to throw everything away all over again. The stigmas of relapse, even in the recovery community, make it difficult to know how to cope, let alone get the help you need to get back on track. Relapse is a speed bump, not a roadblock. Don’t allow frustration and shame to convince you that a clean and sober life isn’t possible.

The secret to bouncing back after relapse comes down to timing, proactivity, and renewed commitment. Here are 3 things to do immediately after relapse.

 

3 Things to Do Immediately After Relapse: STOP

#1: STOP

Relapse in a moment doesn’t have to turn into a lost weekend or a week long bender. Falling into that pit trap will only make the journey back longer and more arduous than it needs to be. You know just how deep the claws of addiction can sink- but you are also in control. Hiding in the comfort of a drug or alcohol induced haze won’t make your troubles disappear; it never worked then and it won’t now, either. Get back up and brush yourself off as quickly as possible.

Stop while you’re ahead. That means now: not when you’ve drank or used it all, not when your supplier misses your call, not when you’re back in the dredges of addiction.

 

3 Things to Do Immediately After Relapse: Reach Out for Help

#2: Reach Out for Help

“The opposite of addiction isn’t sobriety- it’s communication.” During the vulnerability of relapse, it’s important to have support, compassion, and understanding by your side. Admitting to yourself you need help, then seeking it, is the most important step to getting back on the right path. Harbor Village Alumni are given access to designated hotline for relapse prevention and support to help with renewed commitment to sober living.

 

3 Things to Do Immediately After Relapse: Get Back Into Treatment

#3: Get Back Into Treatment

Relapse happens for a reason. Getting back into treatment and working to uncover and remedy that reason is the only way to safeguard yourself against future relapses. Rather you return to an inpatient treatment facility, elect to undergo intensive outpatient treatment, or find a new path through therapy and external support groups, refocusing on your recovery and maintaining it as your top priority should be your immediate goal. Everything else will fall into place through regaining control over your life.

Have  you ever experienced relapse? What do you wish you had done immediately following your relapse? Leave your answers in the comment section below!

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