5 Nightmares You Didn’t Think Would Happen After Addiction Treatment

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Many people think getting through addiction treatment is the finish line of recovery. Unfortunately, this is untrue, and there are still a lot of pitfalls a person could experience after their treatment program has ended. Here are 5 nightmares you may not know can still happen after rehab.

1. Relapsing Back to Drug Abuse

Sadly, many people do experience a relapse after attending addiction treatment, sometimes even after being sober for a long time. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “The chronic nature of the disease means that relapsing to drug abuse is not only possible but also likely, with symptom recurrence rates similar to those for other well-characterized chronic medical illnesses, such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma.”

What to Do If This Happens to You:

It is important not to try and hide your relapse and to talk to your loved ones about the issue. You may also need to seek an addiction treatment program again.

2. Overdosing

Because relapse is a serious possibility when one quits substance abuse, overdose is as well. In fact, individuals who have just detoxed are at the highest risk of experiencing a deadly overdose in the case of opioid addiction, as stated by the National Library of Medicine. This is because the individual no longer has a high tolerance for the drug at this point but will be likely to abuse the same amount they used to, leading to a severe overdose. This is also possible with other drugs, and those who relapse after treatment do put themselves at a serious risk of overdose.

What to Do If This Happens to You:

Get help immediately. Call 911 and make sure you are taken to a hospital or treatment facility where you can receive direct and professional care for your overdose symptoms.

3. Not Being Able to Reconcile with Your Loved Ones

The 9th step in the 12-step process made famous by Alcoholics Anonymous asks recovering addicts to make amends with those they’ve hurt as a result of their substance abuse (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). When a person is going through recovery, treatment programs often push the importance of reconciling with loved ones, either through a family or couples therapy program or in another way.

However, there are some times where relationships cannot be mended, and people cannot forgive or cannot reconcile their issues even after one seeks help for their addiction. Experiencing this can be very painful, but it is often a reality of recovery.

What to Do If This Happens to You:

Try to understand that certain relationships cannot be fixed. You may need to seek additional therapy after your treatment is over for your feelings on this issue. This can help you avoid the possibility of a relapse that agonizing over a broken connection could cause.

4. People Judging You for Your Addiction

For many recovering addicts, their greatest fear is others finding out they needed treatment for an addiction. Maybe they will be denied a job opportunity as a result or maybe other people will talk about them. Even though your experience with substance abuse is your business, you may want to prepare yourself for the possibility that people might become informed of your experience, even if you don’t want them to be.

What to Do If This Happens to You:

Remember that you chose recovery and that you are doing everything you can to make a better life for yourself. Try to remain confident and to remind yourself that you are making the right choices for you and no one else.

5. Forming Another Addiction

Addiction can come in many different forms. Sometimes, people who go through treatment for a drug addiction begin to cling to something else, whether it’s smoking, food, video games, etc. This type of shift can occur when a person obsesses over something else to the point of it harming them, similarly to how drug addiction can be harmful.

What to Do If This Happens to You:

Learn to recognize the issue, and if you feel you need to, seek treatment for this disorder as well.