Living a sober lifestyle takes consistent work and lifelong dedication, but despite your best efforts to ditch your substance abuse habits, relapse can still happen. Ignoring the idea of relapse is dangerous because it can happen to anyone, which is why it is important to know how to deal with it if it occurs. Here are some of the most common myths about relapse, and what your plan of action should be if you fall victim to your old habits once again.
Myth #1. Relapse is Avoidable with Willpower
Though willpower and self-discipline are key components to living a sober life, they alone cannot prevent relapse. Those in recovery often suffer from mental health disorders as well, which cannot be overcome with willpower. Despite the patient’s desire to stay sober, sometimes
it just isn’t enough.
Myth #2. Those Who Relapse Are Hopeless
This myth is absolutely not true. Relapse is often a part of recovery, as learning how to prevent relapse is part of the process. If the person suffering from drug abuse or alcohol abuse has not yet learned how to stop relapse from happening, it is more likely to occur, but it does not mean that they are incapable of recovery.
Myth #3. As Long as You Aren’t Using, You’re Recovering
Abstaining from drug or alcohol use is essential to sobriety, yes, but it does not mean that the patient is recovering. In substance abuse treatment, patients are taught how to overcome their addiction, how to deal with relapse, and how to maintain their physical and mental health. So recovery is a lot more than just discontinuing the use of drugs or alcohol.
Myth #4. Relapse Happens When You Drop Out of Treatment
The process of relapse is not a quick, snap decision on the patient’s part. It is most often a longer period of time in which they struggle with the desire to use again. If they drop out of treatment, the relapse process has most likely already started, and dropping out is a result of such, not a cause.
Myth #5. Thinking About Relapse Will Cause It
Of the myths about relapse, this one is quite the opposite of the truth. Ignoring the possibility of relapse can be more likely to cause such an event from happening. But if the patient is aware of how relapse can happen, they may learn how to deal with it and even prevent it from happening in the first place.
What You Should Do if Relapse Happens
One of the most important things to remember if relapse happens is that you are not a failure, you’ve only suffered from a temporary setback. Before you do anything else, you should get in contact with your sponsor or counselor and be honest with them about what happened. They will
be able to best guide you through your particular situation, so that you can ensure your health is in check and that you can continue on your path of sobriety.
If you’ve been through substance abuse treatment before, and you’ve suffered from relapse, or
you fear that you will relapse, contact us at South Coast Counseling today. Our professional and experienced counselors are here to help you stay on the right track.