If you’re working to overcome a cocaine or methamphetamine addiction in New York or Princeton, you know the threats posed by relapse. As you continue to adjust to your life without stimulants during treatment, the temptation to return to your old habits will be an ever-present problem.
Still, misconceptions abound when it comes to the topic of relapse, meaning that many recovering addicts may harbor mistaken beliefs about what relapse truly means. Though relapse is a very real problem for everyone recovering from addiction, understanding the realities of this unfortunate occurrence may help you prevent it as you progress through treatment.
The following are some of the most common misconceptions about relapse in patients recovering from cocaine addiction and methamphetamine addiction:
- If I have a relapse, it means treatment is not working. This misconception leads many who experience relapse to give up on treatment, but what is really needed is a reassessment. Remember that no setback is insurmountable and that your best bet for overcoming your addiction will always be to remain in treatment. Though a relapse can indicate that some elements of your recovery plan will need to be adjusted, overreacting to a relapse can make getting back on track much more difficult.
- If I have a relapse, my recovery thus far has been for nothing. It can be incredibly frustrating to think that a relapse has erased your progress. Though a relapse can make you feel hopeless about your recovery prospects, it is often little more than a bump in the road. When recovering from a relapse, you need to acknowledge the progress you’ve already made instead of writing it off as wasted time. Don’t let a relapse force you back into a downward spiral—use it as a learning experience to ensure that what caused it before does not cause it again.
- A relapse begins when I start using drugs again. On the contrary, a return to drug use does not occur until the end of the relapse process. Relapse is not one specific event, but rather a chain of events and changes in behavior that eventually cause the individual to begin using again. Because of this, it is important to pay close attention to warning signs outside of drug use that may indicate the relapse process has begun.
- Relapses come out of nowhere and can’t be avoided. With the right strategies in place, a relapse can always be avoided. By staying vigilant in your treatment program and knowing the signs that may indicate you’re headed for a relapse, you can attend to the underlying problems of a relapse before they cause you to start using again.
The thought of relapse can be scary when recovering from methamphetamine or cocaine addiction, but knowing the truth about these common errors can take some stress out of staying relapse-free. If you begin using again or believe you may be headed for a relapse, don’t give up on treatment—Dr. Washton can help you get back on the road to recovery.