You’re prescribed methadone, you’re taking it correctly for months, and then you relapse—now what? Start over? Continue down a horrible path of destruction? Or pick up where you left off and do your best to get back on track in recovery?
While the decision is yours to make, the ideal solution is to pick up in recovery where you left off—don’t be too hard on yourself for relapse, but also don’t be so easy on yourself so as to allow it to occur again.
Relapse doesn’t mean that you failed in treatment or in recovery—it’s a common element of the recovery process that most addicts face at least once and that many face over and over again.
Here’s what you can do to help prevent a relapse from occurring in the future:
Consider the Nature of Your Relapse
If you think there may be a reason why you relapsed and abused your methadone prescription, it is important to address the problem so it can be solved. For example, if you believe you abused your medication because your withdrawal symptoms or cravings were too severe and you could not deal with them, you may need to be on a higher methadone dosage. This is a change your doctor can make. If you relapsed because something triggered you and you suddenly craved opioids more strongly than ever, you may need to discuss this trigger with a counselor at the methadone center.
Remember Relapse isn’t Failure
Relapse rates, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, for opioid addiction are common and “resemble those of other chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma.” As stated previously, relapsing also does not mean your treatment has failed. Instead of focusing on the fact that you relapsed, try focusing on why you did so and then seek help for that issue from your methadone clinic or another treatment program.
Get the Help You Need
If you have relapsed, the best possible thing you can do for yourself is to talk with your counselor, doctor or support specialist about the situation and make a game plan for getting back on track. Methadone can be highly effective in helping you to overcome opiate addiction, but it’s also a drug that should be closely monitored for your continued safety in recovery.
For help finding a treatment center that will boost your recovery and help you get back on track, call 800-530-0431. Our toll-free helpline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you.