Recovering from Relapse

Recovering from RelapseAn adolescent recovering addict’s therapists, sponsor, and fellow recovery group members can play an essential role in helping him to recover from a relapse. Unlike friends or family members who will not understand a recovering addict’s struggles, they will offer support and advice to help an addict overcome any negative emotions associated with a relapse. If nothing else, they can give a recovering addict a sounding board. They will be listened to without being judged. A recovering addict who has experienced a relapse should reach out to their support networks as soon as possible after a relapse.

Addiction recovery requires addicts to make a long-term commitment to sobriety. A young adult who has suffered a relapse in their addiction might feel that they have abandoned that commitment. Rather than feeling trapped by that sense of abandonment, guilt, shame, and failure, they should promptly renew their commitment to get and stay sober. This can involve a painful self-examination to determine the causes of the relapse and an admission of his own shortcomings. A renewed commitment to sobriety coupled with an admission of mistakes will give him a platform to rebuild his self-esteem and to continue with a recovery program.

Recovering from Relapse

Immediate action should be taken after the event of a relapse. If detox is necessary, it should be entered as soon as possible to avoid furthering the chemical dependency. After detox, a young person in recovery should return to their regular programs of recovery. Should they pose a risk to themselves or others, they might require another round of inpatient or outpatient treatment. Otherwise, they simply need to ramp up their recovery efforts. More meetings, regular meetings with a therapist, and another honest attempt at the 12 steps are great ways to start. Getting “in the middle of the herd”, it is said, includes socializing and making friends with other young people who are excited about recovery in their lives.

Relapse for many is a monumental turning point to change the theme and direction of his recovery. Some report feeling that they “needed” their relapse in order to truly appreciate recovery. However, keeping an “attitude of gratitude” is a way to maintain that appreciation on a daily basis. Those who are grateful for their sobriety rarely contradict it with a relapse. Find ways to stay grateful for everything sober life provides and never feel the need to drink and use again.


Sustain Recovery Services in southern California helps adolescents and young adults to recover from drug addiction and alcoholism. We believe long term sobriety is possible. Our extended care services offer young people in recovery a loving home environment coupled with structure, community, and fun. Please see our website or call us at 949-407-9052 for more information.