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11.02.2018

If You Go to Rehab for the 2nd Time, Will the Program Be Different From the 1st Time?

Addiction treatment professionals know all too well that relapses are going to occur. It’s a testament to just how difficult is it for someone to beat an addiction. Even with hard work and the best intentions, the insidious nature of drug and alcohol abuse is often too much for some folks to get beyond after a single stint in rehab.

No matter what you are going through after relapsing, you have to know it’s not the end of the world. The truth is you are in the majority if you relapse a first time. The best advice we can give you is pick yourself up and get back into rehab. You can rest assured none of your counselors nor the other patients are going to start judging you. The addiction treatment community doesn’t work that way.

Of course, your counselors would prefer to never see you struggling with addiction again. If they see you at all, they would prefer it be at a fun and exciting social event where you are eating a steak and enjoying a glass of milk. Still, they are going to welcome you back into rehab with open arms and a new directive to address the issue or issues that instigated your relapse.

With all that said, it’s still your responsibility to actually get back into rehab. It’s still the only viable option you have if you want recovery. The only thing that’s different from the first time you sought help is you will know a bit more about what to expect the second time around. Before you ask the question, there is a good chance your treatment program from your first stint will be modified to address possible weaknesses that clearly slipped through the cracks. For your part, you can come back in with a fighting spirit and newfound determination to beat your addiction once and for all.

Making Adjustments in Treatment

If anything, counselors are usually concerned they missed something in the treatment process. What we know about addiction is substance abuse usually occurs because of personal triggers. Common triggers include:

  • Problems with personal relationships
  • Financial issues
  • Personal trauma, childhood trauma
  • Problems in the workplace
  • Psychological problems

The main objective of therapy and counseling is figuring out exactly what your triggers may be. Triggers plus temptation equal relapse. Since the first stint in rehab failed to clean the attic, it’s likely the rehab’s counselors and clinicians will want to look at other treatment options that might fill the gaps. The following options would certainly be worth considering.

Ramp Up the Intensity of Therapy

Regardless of how much therapy you endured first time around, there’s always room to pick up the pace. In many of today’s top rehab center, ours included, counselors have access to a wide range of tools they can use in therapy. Two popular approaches to address relapses would be cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational therapy. Anything that will prevent relapses in on the table.

Cognitive behavioral therapy encourages patients to take a hard look at the thought processes that surround their instinct to abuse a substance. The theory go there’s something specific in the thought process that’s instigating the behavior. If they can find the flawed thinking pattern, there’s a good chance some other treatment tool can fix the flaw.

Motivational therapy takes a different approach. Instead of trying to force the patient to confront their issues, the counselor will try to help the patient discover good reasons not to use. With the right motivations, there’s a good chance the patient will find a reason to fight harder against their addiction.

Build Support Groups

One reason why people relapse is because they don’t have proper support mechanisms. The lonely addict is always a candidate for relapsing. After a relapse, the counselor’s job is to help the patient identify possible support mechanisms, which usually means people. 12-Step meetings and outpatient group therapy sessions might be enough to fill the gap.

Build a Relapse Prevention Plan

Another possible weakness could be the recovering addict doesn’t know what to do when a relapse seems imminent. During the second stint in rehab, it should be easier to understand what safeguards need to be put in place to prevent a second or third relapse. Experience is a great teacher.

It takes a great deal of courage to admit to a relapse and reenter rehab. We can assure you we will welcome you with open arms. If you need us, you can call us at 800-737-0933.

Listen to Podcasts
Season 3, Episode 31: 29 Years of Recovery w/ Andy V.