What to Do if You Slip Up in Recovery

Relapse is a risk for everyone in recovery, regardless of how long they have been on the wagon. If you are in recovery, then it is important that you remember that you will always be at risk of addiction relapse and that you should always be worried about the possibility. Those who are not worried are the ones more likely to slip up.

No matter how good you feel and how long you have been sober, if you become complacent, you are at risk of ending up back where you started. It is okay to be worried about relapse but, if you have got to the stage where you have convinced yourself you are fine, you may have a problem.

What if You Slip Up?

While some recovering addicts will go through their whole lives never touching another drop of alcohol or taking drugs again, most will slip up at some stage. However, one slip does not constitute a full-blown relapse. When recovering addicts stop giving their recovery their full attention, it is then that they are in danger of slipping up; the good news is that this does not have to lead you back into addiction.

Hopefully, you are strong enough to get yourself back on your feet. You may need to speak to your sponsor or counsellor and make a plan to attend more meetings than you were. It could be the case that you need a booster visit to an inpatient or outpatient programme to get you back on track.

Stop Preparing for an Addiction Relapse

One of the biggest obstacles to a recovering addict’s progress is the preparations he or she makes for a relapse ‘just in case’. This could be keeping money or credit cards handy in case they feel the need to use again or refusing to get rid of alcohol or drugs from the home because someone else in the house drinks or uses.

Some recovering addicts fail to tell their drug dealer that they are in recovery or fail to notify their GP just so that they can access mood-altering pills if they need to.

By preparing for the event of a relapse, recovering addicts are not fully committed to their recovery. By leaving the door ajar, they are making relapse easier; this is a red flag that needs to be addressed immediately.

Getting Back on the Wagon

If you have a slip-up, you need to remember that this does not mean you are a failure. Many recovering addicts will have a slip and get back on the wagon. You may even have more than one slip up before you finally give up drugs or alcohol for good.

If you do slip up, your recovery programme needs some attention immediately, and you need to learn how to get back on track. The first thing to do is realise that you do not have to continue drinking or taking drugs because you have already done so. Remember that continuing to drink or take drugs could have a devastating impact on your health and your life.

Speak to your sponsor, counsellor or GP as soon as possible and, if you can, attend a support group meeting. If you cannot get in touch with any of the above, speak to a trusted family member or friend and ask for help.

Make a point of identifying the trigger that led to your slip and avoid it in the future. If it was a social gathering with family members where alcohol was being served, avoid these until you are stronger.

Consider going back for more treatment if you are worried that you may be in danger of another slip. Call Addiction Helper today for advice and support as well as information on where you can access immediate treatment.

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Calls and contact requests are answered by admissions at

UK Addiction Treatment Group.

We look forward to helping you take your first step.

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