Why Relapse Doesn’t Mean You’ve Failed

Experiencing a relapse does not mean you have failed

In 2017, Live Science – a website that publishes information related to news, technology, health and more, explained that actor Ben Affleck entered rehabilitation for alcoholism for at least his second time; a Facebook post published by him stated,

“…Something I’ve dealt with in the past and will continue to confront.”

Ben Affleck is just one of many celebrities – and people – across the world, who’ve battled with sobriety. As much as relapse is downplayed, the reality is that it’s quite common – and of all things, it doesn’t mean you (or anyone) have failed. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) notes that relapse is less of a sign of failure, and more of a sign that certain aspects of treatment need to become incorporated, changed or reinforced – and it would make sense that this would occur, because each person is different. We all have to take our time in recovery to discover exactly what works for us versus what doesn’t, and sometimes relapse is the guiding factor that tells us what needs to change in our lives.

From a basic biological standpoint, addiction is a disease that affects the way we think – and even in recovery, the brain can have moments where it reverts back to what it learned when addiction was active. In the brain, sensations can occur where it almost feels like a person will die if they don’t have that substance again – and, naturally, our survival mode wants to protect us from this. U.S. News explains that even if a person has relapsed, there are several steps they can take to either minimize the risk of relapse or reinforce positive aspects of recovery in a person’s life:

  1. Attending a 12-Step program.
  2. Surrounding oneself with loving, supportive people.
  3. Becoming more strongly aware of H.A.L.T. – that is, the emotions that can yield a higher risk of relapse (hungry, angry, lonely, tired)

If you’re ready to take a stand for your health and recovery, speak with a professional from Cumberland Heights today.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of two 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first. For more information, call 1-800-646-9998 today.