What Are the 7 R’s of Recovering from Relapse?

When a person is trying to recover from alcoholism or drug addiction, relapse is often part of the process. The reasons why it occurs can vary but it is understandable as part of the process. Learn some tools through the 7 R’s of recovering from relapse to help navigate this period with oneself or a loved one.


Guilt, shame and beating oneself up may be a way to wear down resilience but does nothing to help cope with the bullying. It is time to regroup, not attack oneself. It is a sign that more needs to be learned to make recovery stronger. Speak kind words to oneself and provide support. Have faith things will work out and do the right thing.

Reach Out

It may be embarrassing to admit to relapse but it is not the time to hide away and feel sorry for oneself. People who experience relapse can remain stuck in addiction but it is time to admit the need for help and reach out. Reaching out is vital and necessary to avoid isolation.

Recommit to Recovery

Make a promise that no matter what, it is time to get recovery back on track and build up reserves of strength. Make a list of all the things that are truly difficult about drinking and using drugs and focus on how to make things better.

Realize the Negative

Everybody makes mistakes and it is not worth beating up oneself or another person over it. Human beings learn from mistakes so take this as a time of learning. There will always be reasons addiction reared its head. Make a flowchart of relapse, identify events leading up to it and look at how to make things better this time around.

Double Down

Failing to plan is a plan to fail. Make realistic, healthy goals and have support to be accountable to reaching those goals. It is important to give thought to this dimension and find out what sources of life give strength. Build up internal resources to equip oneself to deal with triggers in life. It is necessary to deal with problems so find a way to cope that works.


It is possible to go it alone when faced with problems that challenge sobriety. Learn some more about development of healthy thinking and resilience. Read books, grab tools and grow from the experience. Try some things never considered that may be a good fit. Some people swear by yoga, mindfulness or other meditation. Others enjoy creative expression through writing, drawing or painting. Find what works and do it.

Redirect Recovery

Some people are not sure why relapse happened as it came on quickly. If it seems like it appeared out of the blue it may be time to redirect recovery and life. Healthy thinking, positive attitude and seeking ways to be fulfilled outside of drug or alcohol use are the best ways to combat addiction. Understand the purpose for one’s life and how it fits in the world at large. This will help build a greater theme from which to build a life upon in recovery.

Recovery takes great strength and fortitude. Don’t hold back. It is time to get on the right track. If you need help, call The Villa to find out what we can do to support your recovery.