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Relapsed? 6 Proven Ways to Get Back on Track

You already resolved to quit. You did all the hard work required to reach recovery. You were on the right path…and then boom – you relapsed.

Here’s the truth of the matter: You aren’t the first person to relapse, and you certainly won’t be the last. Relapse is extremely common in recovery, but it’s not the end of the road. You took a step in the wrong direction, but there are steps you can take to get back on track and back into a life of sobriety.

How to Get Refocused on Sobriety

  • Tip #1   Focus on Forgiveness, Not FailureDon’t equate relapse with failure. You reverted to your old habits briefly, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your recovery. Resist any temptation to dip your toe in the pools of regret, self-loathing, or self-pity – they won’t help you reach your goals. Forgive yourself for being imperfect and refocus your efforts on recovery.
  • Tip #2   Meetings, Meetings, and More MeetingsGet back to it. Gravitate toward others who are on the right track. You’ve heard a hundred times by now that recovery is not a solo sport. If you weren’t attending meetings before, now’s the time to start. If you were, now’s not the time to stop.
  • Tip #3   Lean on Your Support StructureDon’t stop with a weekly meeting or two. If you don’t have a sponsor, find one. Reach out for support from your group, your sponsor, family, friends, and other trusted sources. The level and quality of support you receive can make a huge impact on your success after a relapse. It’s key that you build a strong network of support. And don’t put it off – start reaching out right away.
  • Tip #4   Learn From Your PastWhat steps did you take to enter recovery in the first place? Pull out that plan and review it. Get back to the basics you started with. For example, your recovery plan probably included things like healthy eating, sufficient rest, stress reduction, exercise, and new hobbies. They were good ideas then, and they’re good ideas now.
  • Tip #5   Battle PrepConsider the changes you might need to make in order to protect yourself from another relapse. What caused this relapse? Are there triggers you should be more aware of? Make a list of things that are likely to trigger a relapse, then focus on creating a plan that helps you avoid the top two or three. Prepare yourself for the emotional stressors, relationship pressures, and financial challenges that often accompany a relapse. Lean on your support network as you put plans in place to handle these issues in the future.
  • Tip #6   New GoalsIt’s important to have goals you’re constantly working toward. Consider what you want your life to look like five years from now, one year from now, weeks from now, tomorrow. Make plans to realize that vision. And start taking steps forward today.
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