Are you still in recovery if you relapse?

Relapse is part of the recovery process. If you've experienced a relapse, there are many things you can do to get back on the path of sobriety. Remember that after a physical relapse, recovery is not hopeless. You may just need additional skills to cope with long-term sobriety.

You can learn from your mistakes and get back on the right track. What now? It's important to understand that for many addicts and alcoholics, relapse is part of the process. It doesn't have to be, but even the Narcotics Anonymous Basic Text, the model on which the 12-step program's recovery solution is based, devotes an entire chapter to “Recovery and Relapse. Unfortunately, relapse rates for people recovering from drug or alcohol addiction are quite high.

Studies show that about 40 to 60% of people relapse within 30 days of leaving an inpatient treatment center for drugs and alcohol, and up to 85% relapse within the first year. It's important for people struggling with alcohol dependence or other substance dependence to recognize the high risk of relapse, be aware of what their own personal triggers are, and learn to cope with their triggers and emotions in a healthy way. By understanding the common risks of relapse of addiction, people can be better equipped and better able to sustain their recovery. Here is a list of 10 common triggers that contribute to addiction relapse.

Accepting that relapse is a normal part of the recovery process is a more useful way of looking at relapse. People and treatment programs that embrace this view are more successful, and in the long run, those who accept and work to try again after a relapse are more likely to overcome their addiction.