How to Handle a Friend’s Relapse

Relapse is common when you first head on the road to recovery. According to Independent, a third of people in Ireland will rebuild their lives after treatment, another third will relapse, and another third will have a difficult time going forward. It is important to take care of yourself when you friend relapses and to understand their addiction to forgive them.

When your friend relapses, you can feel a range of emotions such as anger, disappointment and heartbreak, especially if you are the one who referred your friend to that rehab center and it did not work out. You thought that your friend being in treatment would mean that person is in a safe place and that only good changes will come not just to your friend but in your friendship as well.

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It can also be hard when you are on the path of recovery yourself and you see your friend relapse. It can make you feel like if your friend was not able to follow through on their path that you will not be able to either. It is important to understand that you are not your friend and everyone has their own strength of will power. You can see from the mistakes that your friend has made that you do not want to make those same mistakes as well and that you want to get better.

It is important to know that a relapse does not mean that your friend has broken their commitment to sobriety or that you should give up on your friend. Addiction is a disease and not a choice. Addiction changes the chemical makeup of your brain and affects your self-control as well as your resistance to drugs and alcohol. Do not blame yourself for your friend’s relapse if you were the one who referred your friend to that certain rehab. It just means that that particular form of treatment was not the best method for them and that they can try others. Stay positive that your friend will move in the right direction if they were willing to change in the first place. It can also help to go to support groups to learn about addiction as well as how to find triggers and address addictive behaviors. By going to support groups, you can connect and share what your friend is going through and get tips on how other people handle seeing their friend relapse.

Smarmore Castle Private Clinic in County Louth, near Dublin was founded in 1988 as a residential rehabilitation hospital treating people suffering from drug and alcohol purposes. Smarmore Castle believes in helping patients lead a life of abstinence through 12 Step programs, detox and medical treatment, psychotherapy, and complementary therapies. For more information, please call 041-214-5111. For those who live out of the country, the international number is 00353-41-214-5111.

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