What Do You Do When a Relapse Happens After Substance Abuse Treatment?

relapse, substance abuse treatment

Substance abuse treatment is the first step to a bright new future, but relapse is a big risk for anyone who has substance abuse issues. We are all human and make mistakes, and stopping a destructive habit does not happen overnight. Having a plan in place for relapse may seem like setting yourself up to fail but the truth is that most people relapse at least once after inpatient substance abuse treatment. How you react to this event can determine whether you end up with the same old habits again, back in an inpatient treatment facility, or continuing your recovery is up to you. If you fail to do the right things after a small slip or even big relapse then this can affect your recovery, and set you back even further.

If you slip up and relapse then there are some things you need to do, and some things that you need to remember:

  • Get away from the drugs or alcohol immediately, and leave the environment where your relapse happened or where your cravings are triggered. Go somewhere where your sobriety is a priority, somewhere that the drug or alcohol that you crave is not available.
  • Call someone in your support network as soon as possible so that you can discuss what happened and get the support that you need at this time.
  • Avoid any negative feelings, such as guilt and shame. Acknowledge that you made a mistake and then focus on moving forward in your recovery instead of dwelling in the past.


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