Relapse can happen, especially during the early stages of rehab. Although returning to rehab isn’t the only way to get back on track after a relapse, it may be necessary depending on the severity of your lapse, as well as for your overall health and safety.
Going Back to Rehab
If you determine that you need to go back to drug rehab for a second round of treatment, it’s likely not because rehab “didn’t work” the first time. Although you may need to look for a different type of treatment program that best meets your needs, recovery from drug and alcohol addiction is a long-term process that often requires several episodes of treatment. Due to the chronic nature of addiction, relapse sometimes happens. It’s not a sign that rehab failed, rather, it’s an indication that your treatment needs to continue or be adjusted.1
A second round of rehab can be beneficial in many ways. Going back to rehab can allow you to work one-on-one with a therapist and address the causes of your relapse and learn how to respond differently to those things. You may also find that you’re more committed and involved in your treatment the second time around because you’ve already had a taste of the goodness of sobriety.
Going back to rehab to continue your treatment doesn’t mean that you’ve failed and recovery isn’t something that happens overnight. It is an ongoing process and fully overcoming your substance use disorder will require long-term treatment and maintenance.
8 Tips to Make the Most of Your Time in Rehab
If you’re going back to rehab, you might be wondering, “How can I make my upcoming visit to rehab more effective than the last time I went to rehab?” There are several things you can do to make the most of your time spent in drug rehab.
- Accept the fact that you can’t do this on your own.
It’s hard to accept the fact that you need help, but if abstinence were easy, you could just give up the drugs and alcohol and move on, right? In truth, getting sober is hard but having the support of sober peers and treatment professionals can make the process easier. Plus, there is a lot to learn from others who have been in your shoes. You are much more likely to get sober and stay that way when you give up the idea that you can do it on your own.
- Don’t expect things to change right away.
It’s tempting to have unrealistic expectations about drug rehab and what your life will look like after you leave treatment, but drug rehab isn’t a “cure” for addiction and maintaining your sobriety after rehab is a learning process. While you’re in treatment, it’s important to give yourself time to heal and allow yourself to grow and change at your own pace, no one else’s. If you expect things to change right away, you’ll be sorely disappointed because genuine and lasting life changes take time.
- Participate in discussions.
If you sit back on the sidelines and never weigh in on group conversations, your opportunities for growth are limited. Taking an active role in your treatment and sharing with open and honest feedback will allow you to benefit from the shared experiences and thoughts of others while also supporting others with your own insights and experiences.
- Keep an open mind.
Keeping an open mind while you’re in drug rehab can help you listen well and remain open to suggestions from your counselors, drug therapist, and peers. It can be difficult to accept unfamiliar ideas and principles, but doing so can help you create a brand new, healthy lifestyle that is free from substance abuse and addiction.
- Focus on the here and now.
Mindfulness is a skill that will help carry you through treatment and into a new life of recovery. Although it doesn’t come naturally, your counselors and therapists can help you learn how to practice mindfulness while you’re in drug rehab. Maintaining a focus on the here and now means you don’t linger on regrets or past mistakes and you don’t worry about the future. Instead, you practice being content with where you are and who you are now and you learn to accept your current circumstances. Doing so takes practice, but it is a valuable tool that will help you fight cravings and avoid relapse.
- Make an effort to connect with others.
People don’t recover in isolation and peer support is essential to recovery. The process of recovery is heavily supported through healthy relationships and social networks.2 Connecting with your peers and treatment specialists while you’re in rehab can help you find meaning and purpose in life, as well as a sense of belonging. Engaging with others in recovery can improve your ability to communicate with others, problem-solve, help others, remain accountable to your sobriety, and learn how to have fun as you establish relationships that aren’t centered around drugs or alcohol.3
- Prepare for the transition back to “normal” life.
During drug rehab, it’s important to remember that the transition back into normal life is also a process. Working with your counselors and therapist to identify triggers and develop a plan to address them is a great way to prepare, especially if you’ve relapsed before. Additional treatment services like a sober living program, peer monitoring program, or aftercare are also extremely helpful resources that can help mitigate challenges during the transition out of rehab.
- Don’t give up.
No matter how badly you want to leave or give up on yourself, trust the process and know that you can recover with the right support. Attending H&I meetings and talking to other people who have overcome their addictions may provide some additional encouragement, hope, and show you that it is possible to take your life back from addiction.
Continue Your Recovery Journey Today
Going back to rehab is a courageous choice and one that demonstrates your willingness to change for the better. If you’re ready to get started, call Nova Recovery Center today to speak with an admissions representative.