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What to Do When You Are Losing Hope in Recovery

March 21, 2022

No matter how committed you are to lifelong sobriety or meticulously following your recovery, there’s always a chance of relapse at some point. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that 40% to 60% of recovery relapse.

March 21, 2022

This is not a time for regrets or to entertain feelings of shame. Relapse is so common that it is considered a stage in lifelong recovery. You should not give up the fight or give in to your addiction but continue working hard and conquering the desire to use. Instead, take the relapse as a lesson to enable you to identify your triggers and develop a relapse prevention plan.

Factors that Contribute to a Relapse

People who relapse in particular face situations months, weeks, or days before they relapse. These situations come as difficult experiences or feelings that test their ability to manage their addictions without alcohol or drugs.

Some common relapse risk factors include:

• Exposure to triggers includes environmental and social signs that remind you of alcohol and drugs. Social signs include seeing a friend who uses or is a drug peddler, while environmental signs include smells, objects, and places that you relate to alcohol and drugs. These can generate intense cravings that can cause a relapse.

• Stress: When you experience highly stressful situations and have poor coping skills, it is easy to turn to alcohol and drugs for solace. Going through negative emotions like depression, anxiety, anger, and boredom can increase the chances of a relapse. Particularly, marital stress and work have been proven to cause relapse.

• Relational problems: Family conflicts or disagreements with friends can cause negative feelings, such as frustration, sadness, and anger. If you do not appropriately manage these emotions, you may relapse. Conflicts with close relations are involved in more than half of all relapses.

• Peer pressure: Living or associating with friends or family members who use alcohol or drugs is dangerous for recovery. Even being around people using drugs in, for example, a party can reignite the urge and put you at risk of relapsing.

• Severe pain due to illness or accidents. Often, your doctor will prescribe pain medication when you are in severe pain after an accident or due to illness. Sometimes, the medication is not as effective. You may be tempted to look for narcotics or strong painkillers to alleviate the pain in such a case. It is safe to take pain medication without medical supervision for people who have never had a drug addiction. However, for someone with a history of addiction, you need supervision by a medical professional as opioids as just as addictive as alcohol and drugs.

• Positive moods. Positive moods, like negative moods, are also risk factors for relapse. When you are thrilled, it is normal to want to enhance the feeling with alcohol and drugs. Celebrations, such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and graduation parties, can also cause a relapse since most of them include taking alcohol.

• Low self-efficacy: Confidence in your potential to succeed is what self-efficacy is all about. If your self-efficacy in your ability to stay sober is low, you are at a higher risk of relapsing. Thus, you should have confidence and believe that you will overcome your addiction.

What Should You Do if You Relapse

Whether you are on a relapse or not but a recovery journey, it is essential to know what you should do if you relapse. Remember that you should not be ashamed because of relapse, and you will and can recover from a relapse.

If you or a loved one relapses, take the following actions.

• Ask for help. Seek support from friends and family. It is good to surround yourself with positive inspirations to remind you that they care. Sober friends will also help guide and advise on ways to recover from a relapse.

• Look for a self-help group. A self-help group, such as Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous and facilities such as Hollywood Hills Recovery can provide a non-judgmental environment to talk about your situation. You will also learn how other people have dealt with relapses in the past. Such groups or facilities have daily meetings so that you will find one within 24 hours of relapse.

• Stay away from triggers. If you still visit the places you used to visit when taking alcohol or drugs or keep the same friends, you will have increased cravings for drugs. You should, therefore, stay away from triggers as much as you can, including things, places, and people who remind you of drug abuse. If you cannot avoid some triggers, reduce your contact with it immediately after relapse or until you are confident that you can cope without using.

• Self-care. Protect your physical and emotional health after a relapse. Self-care helps in relapse recovery by reducing stress and tension. Engage in activities that bring pleasure and do not cause harm, such as eating healthy foods, journaling, reading, exercising, meditation, and yoga.

Get Help Today

If you have undergone drug or alcohol abuse treatment and struggle with the reality or possibility of relapse, we are here to help. Hollywood Hills Recovery has several treatment programs that help patients attain sustained sobriety. Do not give in to addiction by allowing a relapse to take you back to a cycle of drug or alcohol abuse.

It is essential to maintain a positive mindset after a relapse. Take the relapse as learning and do not dwell on the feelings of disappointment, shame or guilt. You can get back on track by understanding the events leading to the relapse and reducing the chances of future relapses.

The Hollywood Recovery center is a property that provides a relaxing, tranquil, and peaceful environment. It is a short distance away from the Sunset Strip, The Hollywood Walk of Fame, among other attractions. You will receive guilt-free treatment from supportive staff interested in your progress. The center is family-oriented and welcoming to everyone.

It's normal to feel down sometimes when you're in recovery. You may have setbacks or times when you feel like you're not making progress. When this happens, it's important to remember that it's okay to reach out for help. We will discuss some things you can do when you lose hope in your recovery journey.

1) Talk to Your Sponsor or Another Recovery Support Person

When you're feeling down, it can be helpful to talk to someone who understands what you're going through. Your sponsor or another recovery support person. Will be able to offer you guidance and support. Learn from the tips your sponsor gives you and apply them to your own life.

2) Attend A Recovery Meeting

If you're feeling alone or like you're not making progress, attending a recovery meeting can be helpful. At meetings, you'll be with people who understand what you're going through and can offer support. You may also find inspiration from hearing other people's stories of recovery.

3) Talk to Your Therapist

If you're in therapy, talk to your therapist about how you're feeling. They can help you identify what may be causing your feelings of hopelessness and provide guidance on addressing them. A therapist is an excellent resource for when you're feeling down in recovery since they are committed to helping you achieve your goals.

4) Attend A 12 Step Meeting

Attending 12 step meetings can help you stay connected to the recovery community and receive support from others. You will find someone willing to listen and offer support at most meetings.

5) Exercise

Exercise can be a great way to boost your mood and improve overall health. When you're feeling down, try to get in a little bit of exercise each day. Even a short walk can be helpful. Exercise can also help you reduce stress and anxiety, which can be beneficial in recovery.

6) Indulge Yourself in A Healthy Way

It can be tempting to indulge in unhealthy foods or activities when you're feeling down. However, this can only make you feel worse in the long run. Instead, try to indulge yourself healthily. It could mean eating nutritious foods, spending time outside, or practicing self-care. You're more likely to feel better overall when you take care of yourself.

7) Help Someone Else

One of the best ways to help yourself is to help someone else. Reach out to someone in your recovery network or community when you're feeling down. See if there's anything you can do to help them. Helping others can make you feel better about yourself and provide a sense of purpose.

8) Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness can be a great way to deal with difficult emotions. When you're feeling down, try to practice mindfulness by paying attention to your thoughts and feelings. Accept them for what they are, and don't try to suppress them. It can be a complex process, but it can be helpful in recovery.

9) Seek Professional Help

If you're feeling down and like you're not making progress, it may be time to seek professional help. A therapist can help you identify the causes of your feelings of hopelessness and provide guidance on addressing them. If you think you may have a mental health disorder, seek professional help immediately.

10) Take A Break from Recovery

If you're feeling overwhelmed and like you're not making progress, it may be time to take a break from recovery. It doesn't mean that you've failed or are not ready for recovery; it just means that you need a little time to regroup and refocus. Recovery is a journey, and there will be ups and downs. Don't be afraid to take a break when you need it.

11) Make A Gratitude List

When you're feeling down, it can be helpful to focus on the things you're grateful for. Please make a list of all the things you're thankful for, and read it when you're feeling down. There are many things to be grateful for, from your relationships to your health. Focusing on the positive can help to improve your mood.

12) Spend Time with Friends and Family

Spending time with friends and family can be a great way to boost your mood. They can provide support and encouragement and help you have some fun. When you're feeling down, try to spend time with people who make you happy. Good friends have a way of making you feel better, even when you're feeling down.

13) Volunteer at a Homeless Shelter

Helping others can be a great way to boost your mood and feel better about yourself. When you're feeling down, consider volunteering at a homeless shelter. You can help make a difference in the lives of those who are less fortunate, and you can feel good about yourself. Volunteering is a great way to give back, and it can be gratifying.

14) Practice Self-Care

Self-care is essential for recovery. When you're feeling down, try to do something that makes you feel good. It could be taking a warm bath, reading your favorite book, or going for a walk. Taking care of yourself can help to improve your mood and make you feel better overall.

15) Journal

Journaling can be a great way to express your thoughts and feelings when you're feeling down. It can also be a way to track your progress in recovery. When you're feeling down, try to journal about what's going on for you. It can be a helpful way to process your feelings and to see your progress over time.


Feeling down is a common experience for those in recovery. However, it's important to remember that you're not alone. You can do many things to improve your mood and feel better. Try some of the strategies listed above, and see which ones work best for you. Remember that recovery is a journey, and there will be ups and downs. Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

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