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Many people in recovery have been there. You’ve gone through a treatment program and completed it successfully—and then you relapsed. Or, you’ve had some success in using your newfound tools to stay clean, but lately you feel like you’re struggling.
Now you’re asking yourself: should I go back to treatment?
Many people in recovery face situations that challenge their sobriety. In some cases, that means using once and never again. In others, it means falling back into addictive patterns and needing to go through a full treatment program again.
Although relapse is often a part of the recovery process, a one-time mistake doesn’t mean that you’re falling back in the grips of addiction. There’s a difference between a momentary slip-up and a full-blown relapse.
In a slip-up, you have used one time and were able to rebound quickly. You are usually able to cope with temptations effectively and get back on track toward sobriety.
On the other hand, you may be relapsing when you struggle to manage your drug and alcohol use. You may have a desire to stop using, but it has become extremely difficult or impossible to quit. If you’re concerned that you’ve lost control of your sobriety, going back to a treatment program is worth considering.
Rehabs are still open!
No matter how confused or overwhelmed you may feel, there are ways of determining whether you should return to rehab.
If you’re struggling with any of the issues below, going back to a treatment center should be strongly considered.
There hasn’t been any accountability or guidance within your life recently. This may mean that you’ve stopped going to support groups or you are no longer communicating with your sponsor or therapist.
Managing stress seems difficult lately. You also may be self-medicating by abusing drugs, alcohol or even food.
Your passion for staying sober and most other things is starting to wane. The enthusiasm that you had when you left treatment the first time is gone.
You don’t write down your goals or reflect on progress made in your recovery. You may have even given up on your goals entirely.
You may be spending time with people you used to hang out with when using, or putting yourself in situations that will cause you to relapse.
Surrounding yourself with codependent friends, family members or romantic partners can be emotionally detrimental. Spending too much time with these individuals can increase the risk of relapse.
You may find it difficult to focus on positive thoughts these days. Instead, you are replaying past dramas and reliving the hurt that came from them.
Spirituality, in whatever way you chose to express it, can help change negative thoughts and behaviors. For example, you’ve stopped attending religious or spiritual services, or reading motivational materials.
You find yourself eating more fast food and sweets than balanced meals and whole foods. You may also have stopped exercising regularly.
You no longer feel that you are living your life in a balanced manner. This can include overeating fatty foods or consuming too much caffeine. If you smoke, you may be increasing the number of cigarettes you have in a day. This can also include excessive gambling or sexual activity.
You may be starting to experience more negative emotions than positive ones. Negative emotions can include excessive feelings of sadness, anger, loneliness, fear, anxiety and hopelessness. You may also be feeling a deep sense of frustration for no apparent reason.
Going back into treatment, if that is what you need, can be a tremendously rewarding experience. Once you have made the decision to return, you’ve conquered half the battle. Remember, you have advantages that those who are new to treatment do not have yet. You know the routine. You also know what’s expected, what works, and most importantly, what doesn’t. That’s power. Take that power and begin again.
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