Drug Relapse: Does Drug Rehab Work the Second Time?

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When you’ve gone through rehab and have sworn off substances, going through a drug relapse can be especially painful. You’re discouraged after putting work into getting clean that you’re using drugs again. You may feel like you’ve let down friends and family. 

You may be feeling a mix of emotions, but the last thing you should feel is defeated. 

The truth of the matter is that experiencing a relapse after rehab can happen and that it’s still possible to stay clean. Let’s take some time to discuss the nature of relapse and how rehab can still help. 

Why Do Drug Relapses Happen?

Relapses can happen for a variety of reasons. Someone may have experienced an emotional trigger that made them want to use drugs again. Others may have been overconfident in their ability to dabble in drug use again and could have had one innocent party turn into a bender. 

It’s important to keep in mind that treating a chronic condition like drug use involves changing deeply rooted behaviors. Treating the physical complications associated with drug abuse can take a matter of days or weeks, but finding ways to get people to change behavior takes much longer. 

There is very little hard data on relapse rates in recovering addicts, but any addiction specialist or doctor will tell you that relapse isn’t uncommon. In fact, for certain addicts, relapse is almost an accepted part of the recovery process. 

Experiencing a drug relapse doesn’t mean that rehab didn’t work or that you’re doomed to a life of addiction. Most of the time, it just means that’s it time to speak with a doctor about how to alter or switch treatments. 

Should I Go to Rehab After a Drug Relapse?

This is a difficult question to answer for individuals because everyone is at a different stage in their path to recovery. Before you make any decisions about re-entering rehab you should speak with your doctor and therapist. 

Rehab can be helpful for people that want to stop using drugs, but the keyword in this sentence is “want”. Even the best drug rehab in the world can’t help an addict that doesn’t want to stop using. 

Remember, just because you don’t want help yet doesn’t mean you’ll hold that view forever. Some people may not be ready to admit that they have a problem and are reluctant to stop using even if they see how it negatively affects their life.

Thinking about attending rehab again is a step in the right direction. Even if you aren’t ready now, take time to think about how you can be ready in the future. 

How Can I Make Rehab More Effective?

Finding the right care plan and addiction recovery support team is important for getting the most out of rehab. Putting yourself in a positive environment and surrounding yourself with professionals can do a lot to help your recovery. 

There are also plenty of things you can do on your own to get the most out of your rehab experience. If you want to have the best rehab experience possible, make sure you remember to keep these tips in mind. 

Participate in Everything 

Maybe you don’t particularly like going on long walks or participating in art therapy. You may think that group therapy is a waste of time and may feel compelled to sit quietly until it’s over. 

There may be certain parts of rehab that you don’t like, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t effective. If you truly want to get the most out of your rehab experience be fully present and participate in different activities. 

You need to trust that the people running your rehab facility know what’s best. Things that seem pointless or strange now could have huge effects on your recovery process. 

Adjust Your Expectations

Some people assume that all they need to do to get clean is to attend rehab for 30 days and then they’re automatically cured. Going into rehab with unrealistic expectations can make the entire process more difficult. That’s why we recommend having realistic expectations about rehab. 

Know that there are going to be some bad days and that you’re going to have to grapple with some difficult subjects. You won’t have the freedom to spend your days the way you’d like and that you may not like everything you have to do. 

Being realistic about the rehab experience lets you come to terms with your new reality. Know that even though there will be tough days ahead that you’re doing it all to have a brighter future. 

Prepare For Life Outside 

It isn’t uncommon for people that do well in rehab to struggle a little once they return to their daily lives. Staying clean when you’re in a controlled environment can be easy, but doing that when you’re free to do as you please is hard.

We know that you just got into rehab again, but it’s still important to think about what life will be like once you’re done.  Talk to your therapist about what seems to trigger your drug use and ways you can avoid triggers once you’re back home. 

This can be difficult for people to do because some of the things that trigger you may also be parts of your everyday life. You may not be able to completely avoid stress, family members, or situations, but you can come up with coping mechanisms and tools that make managing being around triggers easier. 

Get Help Today

A drug relapse can mean a lot of things, but it never means failure. Relapses can be seen as a natural part of the addiction cycle and they’re nothing to be ashamed about. The important thing to focus on is how you’re going to get healthy again. 

If you’re looking for a rehab center for you or your loved one, you’ve come to the right place. Our mindful-based treatment center combines a variety of therapies and practices to give people the best chance at recovery possible. 

Whether you want to learn more about our programs or you’re ready to enroll, we’re here to help. Contact us today so we can talk about the next steps in your journey.