Why Do I Keep Relapsing?

You finally made the decision to get sober and receive treatment for your addiction. You went through your program, experienced detox and received all the tools you need to be able to live a long, happy healthy life in recovery. However, you find that you keep slipping up. Relapsing is a part of the recovery journey, and addiction takes a lot of time and ongoing work to overcome. Entering rehab doesn’t all of a sudden magically take away all of your urges to use drugs or alcohol. It takes ongoing commitment, determination, and dedication to staying sober.

Reasons That Relapsing Keeps Happening

It can be frustrating when you begin relapsing after doing good for a period of time. You think that your sobriety is going well, when all of a sudden, you are hit with an irresistible urge to use. Why does relapsing keep happening?


Stress tends to be the main reason that people keep relapsing. Chances are, you used drugs or alcohol in an effort to cope with the stress that you feel in everyday life. This can include issues at work, problems with relationships, or even adjusting back to life after treatment. Learning how to deal with stress in healthy ways is extremely important in recovery. These positive coping skills can include exercise, painting, playing with animals or being in nature. Finding whatever works for you is extremely important and can make all the difference in your recovery.

Lack of Support

A strong support system is one of the most important things to have in recovery. Addiction recovery is almost impossible to do alone. It is very important to be able to have someone to turn to. It is common for people in recovery to have damaged relationships due to the negative consequences of their addiction. This means people suffering from addiction need to find a new support system. Sober support can come from an outpatient support group, a sober companion or alumni from treatment. When people have someone to turn to and relate to during hard times, they feel less vulnerable to substances.

Undiagnosed Mental Health Issues

Addiction always stems from some kind of a root cause. One of the biggest root causes of people suffering from addiction is a mental health issue, whether diagnosed or undiagnosed. There may be a chance that you are suffering from some type of undiagnosed mental health issue, such as depression or anxiety.

Trouble Clicking with a Program

No two addictions are alike, which means no two treatment programs should be alike. Every person has different needs when it comes to addiction recovery, and there might be a chance that you didn’t click well enough with your original treatment program. Finding a treatment program that clicks with you can make all the difference in recovery, and can also lower your chances of relapsing for the future.

Know the Signs of Relapsing

There are many signs and symptoms that occur when a relapse is about to happen. Knowing these signs will help you prevent a relapse before it happens. If you notice the signs and symptoms of relapse are occurring, it is important for you to lean on your support system for help and guidance. If the symptoms are too overwhelming, it could be in your best interest to check into an inpatient or outpatient treatment center.

The signs of relapsing include:

  • Increased stress
  • Overconfidence in sobriety
  • Not keeping up with treatment or aftercare guidelines
  • Changing your daily routine
  • Irrational decisions
  • Changes in social circle
  • Not putting sobriety first

What To Do If You Keep Relapsing

Planning and prevention are key for long lasting sobriety. If you find yourself relapsing, there are some steps that you need to take in order to plan and prevent another one.

  • Change your treatment strategy. If the treatment program you originally chose doesn’t seem to be sticking, it might be time to switch it up. Entering the same treatment center or program only to keep relapsing shows that you need a new approach. There are many different ways to treat addiction, so try something new.
  • Check into residential rehab. It has been proven that people who enroll in a long-term residential rehab take their sobriety more seriously. Removing yourself from the distractions of everyday life and committing fully to recovery gives you more drive and motivation to stay clean and sober.
  • Surround yourself with positive support. When someone in recovery relapses, they often feel like they are letting down their friends and family. It is important to have a positive support system in your life who will help carry you through hard times rather than judge you.

About Pinelands Recovery Center

Relapsing is part of the disease of addiction. It is not a failure and only means that you haven’t found the right treatment program yet. An individualized, custom program tailored to your needs can make all the difference.

Pinelands Recovery Center of Medford is widely known as one of New Jersey’s finest, most respected addiction treatment facilities. With comfortable 30-bed accommodations and 24-hour professional staff, we can offer clients a serene, relaxing environment amid the lush piney woods. This stress-free setting with its sense of warmth and welcoming enables you to feel comfortable and confident about your clean and sober life ahead.

We will establish clear goals, both general in nature and specific to your needs. We continue to monitor those goals, to make sure that our clients are progressing and buying into their recovery plan. We thrive on assisting clients in feeling connected to the recovery community, share and demonstrate effective coping techniques, help clients to modify attitudes and patterns of behavior and everything else you will need to be happy and productive living a sober, healthy life.

We ensure that clients complete their planned concrete tasks, encourage hope, optimism and
healthy living. Our recovery program is not a revolving door treatment program; it is a recovery model designed to help clients go on to lead productive, happy lives. For more information, visit pinelandsrecovery.com