If you were already far along in your recovery before you relapsed, you might be asking how do I know if I need to go back to rehab? Addiction recovery is rarely linear, and it differs from person to person. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, there are some indications to help you make your decision.
In an ideal world, every person who went through rehab would come out “healed.” They would never touch substances again and live a long fulfilling life. Unfortunately, addiction recovery just does not work this way. A large percentage of people who go to rehab return a number of times.
But at what point do you know it is time to go back to rehab? You can’t return the moment you relapse, but do you need to be at rock bottom again to get help?
Here are some tips to help you decide if you need to go back to rehab.
Substance use is impairing your day-to-day functioning
One drink a few months after rehab might be the start of a major relapse… but it might not. Your rehab experience may have been incredible, but that doesn’t mean you have the time or money to spend multiple stints in rehab, one after the other. It is also important that you do what you can to find solutions outside of rehab so that you can learn to adapt in the real world.
However, if you have started using substances regularly enough that it impairs your day-to-day functioning, you should consider returning to rehab. Ultimately, at this point it will be particularly difficult to stop using in a non-rehab environment. You will struggle with withdrawals and you will be making decisions in an impaired state.
You’ve had outpatient help
Ideally, you should not have gotten to the point that substance use impairs your day-to-day functioning without trying to get outpatient help. When you leave rehab, there are checks and measures in place to help you keep on track, as well as a support system you can use when times get tough.
Rehab cannot be your first port-of-call the moment you use substances again, but you should absolutely get help from professionals as well as support groups. A sober coach or therapist can also help you determine if you need to return to rehab. It is not a decision you should have to make on your own.
You are in danger
Of course, if you are in danger continuing to live in the outside world, rehab may be your only option. Whether you are in danger due to health effects of substance use, risky behaviors, or suicidal thoughts, it is important that you enter an environment in which your safety is assured.
It may be difficult for you to recognize you are in danger. Hopefully, you have a support system that can help you realize this when your thinking is impaired.
Ultimately, the decision to go back to rehab is a difficult one to make on your own. This is just one of the reasons it is so important to put measures in place upon leaving rehab to keep you on track and in touch with your recovery.