Going Back To Rehab After A Relapse

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on March 27, 2020

Recent research has shown that roughly half of the people who enter a treatment program for their drug or alcohol addiction will relapse within less than a year of being released from it.

Going Back To Rehab After A Relapse

While statistics like this might sound discouraging, relapsing is actually considered a normal part of the recovery process because of all the physical and emotional challenges that an addicted person is going through.

In fact, the medical community considers relapsing to be a symptom of addiction and recovery. That is why many rehab centers offer special rehab programs that provide extended care which can last throughout a person’s lifetime.

For those addicted individuals who have recently relapsed, trying to figure out what to do next can feel pretty overwhelming, though. It helps to understand how rehab centers can help get them back on track again.

What To Do After A Relapse: A Step-By-Step Guide

The first step that a person who is seeking addiction treatment after a relapse should take is to call their treatment sponsor right away.

This step is very important because there is a good chance that their drug or alcohol binge could happen again if they don’t get the support that they need to overcome the relapse. If a treatment sponsor isn’t available, it helps to call a trusted friend or family member instead.

Next, remove all the drugs or alcohol from the home so that they won’t be a temptation. It may be necessary to call a local police department for help with this process if the substances are illegal.

Lastly, the addicted person needs to try to get away from any places or people which could trigger them to start using drugs or alcohol again. For example, an individual with an alcohol use disorder should avoid going to a bar or seeing their old drinking buddies.

What Are My Treatment Options After A Relapse?

People who are seeking addiction treatment after a relapse have several options to choose from. Most of them depend on the type of substance that a person is addicted to.

For instance, those who are addicted to drugs that cause serious withdrawal symptoms, such as opiates, would probably need to be admitted into a treatment center that can help with the detoxification process.

But a man or woman who is addicted to alcohol may want to enter a 12-step program instead. Some of the other treatment options that are available include partial hospitalization, inpatient and outpatient therapy, and aftercare programs.

Do I Have To Go Back To Rehab After A Relapse?

Going back to rehab after a relapse is usually the last thing that a person wants to do, but it may be the only way to help get them headed back on the path to sobriety.

The best way to tell if going back to rehab after a relapse is necessary is to look at how serious the relapse was and consider the likeliness that a person will use drugs or alcohol again.

If a person has only had one drink, they may be able to stop on their own. However, someone who has had an extended drug binge lasting several weeks or more should be admitted to a rehab program right away, because they could overdose if they don’t get urgent medical care.

It is important to mention that one of the main reasons that a person ends up having to return to a rehab center is because they didn’t stay in treatment long enough the first time.

Certain studies have proven that long-term drug and alcohol treatment is much more effective than short-term care. If a person has to be in short-term care, the risk of them relapsing can be reduced by placing them in relapse prevention programs afterwards.

How To Find A Rehab Center After A Relapse

Finding a rehab center that offers relapse prevention programs isn’t easy, especially for someone who needs specialized care because of their specific addiction.

It may help to have one of our trained specialists do the work instead. All we need to make a list of the best rehab centers is some information about the person who needs treatment, such as their home location and insurance plan.

Relapsing after treatment at a drug and alcohol rehab center is a common occurrence. It is important that addicted individuals get back on the right track by getting the help that they need as soon as possible. There are many different treatment options available, and they all depend on the type of addiction that a person has.

Addictions to substances that cause serious withdrawal symptoms require a stay at a rehab center that offers a detoxification program. In order to reduce the risk of relapse, a rehab center that has an aftercare program is also very important.

Those who need help finding a rehab facility that meets all of these requirements should contact one of our treatment specialists right away.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on March 27, 2020


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