If Your Loved One Has a Relapse

One of the realities in addiction recovery is that relapse can occur, even in those that seem to be doing well and working their program. It is the nature of the disease. The National Institute of Drug Abuse has defined addiction as a condition that is chronic and often relapsing (DrugFacts: Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction). A relapse may just require the person to get back on track. It can also require more care from an alcohol or drug rehab facility. What you must understand is that when relapse occurs it is time for action to help your loved one.

1. Do Not Panic

When your loved one relapses it is not a time to panic, to feel angry, or hopeless. It is a time to help them with getting things back on track. Even with someone who has had sobriety under their belt, relapse is not the end of things. All that resets is the days they have sober. They have not lost what they have learned and developed through treatment or recovery. Therefore, when you are seeing the all to familiar signs of drug use, it is not a time to panic and react irrationally. Take time to gather yourself and think things through about how you can support them.

2. Do Not Blame

The blame game is also not a positive tool in the case of relapse. Blaming your loved one or yourself is not going to help the situation at all. When relapse happens after treatment, it is all too easy to blame the alcohol or drug rehab program. The nature of addiction is one where relapse is a reality, but it does not mean that any fingers need to be pointed or blame pinned. You need to be there for them and help them in ways that gets onto proper paths of sobriety.

3. Get the Help They Need

Help your loved one by getting them back into the practice of the things that helped them maintain sobriety. Whether this is attending 12-step meetings, working with a sponsor, or going to counseling, this step is crucial and needs to be timely. If more intensive care is needed, help them find an alcohol treatment or drug rehab program. Also in getting help for your loved one, it can be very important to get help and support for yourself. Al-anon, Nar-anon and Codependents Anonymous (CoDa) are fellowships designed to support and strengthen family members.

4. Assess the Situation

It can also be very helpful to assess the situation and determine areas and reasons for why the relapse has occurred. Identify any triggers or critical situations that may have been involved with your loved one. For some recovering addicts, their sobriety has got to come first for a time. It can be very important to keep up with responsibilities with your loved one to make sure they are doing all the things they need to during this critical period. It also can be needed to assess the addiction treatment programs and fellowship to establish that your loved one is getting all the necessary aid they need to support them.

Cirque Lodge Relapse Track

Cirque Lodge Relapse Track

Cirque Lodge has many programs and support measures in place for alumni of our alcohol and drug rehab facility. The relapse track is a means to getting alumni sober and working on long-term recovery. This is done within the same facility where they got sober in the first place.

The Relapse Track is a two week program founded on the same principles of personalized addiction treatment. The primary focus is to reevaluate the individual’s Continuing Care Plan and to assess what went wrong and why. A different plan of action is put into place with an emphasis on shoring up the areas of struggle.

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Cirque Lodge is a recovery retreat providing cognitive and experiential therapies, in the pristine natural beauty of Utah’s Rocky Mountains.

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