Relapsed on Heroin? 5 Ways to Regroup and Refocus on Recovery

Heroin relapse is a setback, but it's certainly not the end of your recovery journey.

You’ve worked hard to build a new life. Brick by heavy brick, you laid the foundation for a life of sobriety. You were happily on the path to recovery, but somewhere along the way you got off course. You relapsed on heroin.

It might feel like everything you built up has now come crumbling down, but relapse after heroin addiction is actually quite common. So common, in fact, it’s almost expected. Relapse is often considered a “normal” part of the recovery process, so you need to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep building. Here’s how…

Tips For Dealing With a Heroin Relapse

  • Learn From It

    Admit what happened and why. What triggered your relapse? Was there something specific that took you off course? Start by making a list of your biggest triggers so you can know what to avoid in the future. This first step is essential to get you back on the right track.


  • Make a Plan of Attack

    Once you’ve identified what causes you to stumble, make a plan to navigate around these pitfalls. Decide what changes you need to make in habits and relationships. Write down ways to deal with tempting situations. Set goals for the future so you’re always working toward at least one achievement. This creates a healthy plan of attack to prevent future relapses.


  • Get Therapy

    Thinking and behavior patterns are intricately woven into heroin addiction. Destructive patterns are what lead to relapse. Underlying issues often drive these patterns. This makes psychotherapy key after a relapse. Working through your emotional and mental baggage with a counselor will help you get a handle on your triggers. Depression is also common after a relapse. You may feel like you’ve somehow failed or that you’re beyond hope. Therapy will help you deal with these feelings and avoid sinking into a depression that can rob you of a successful life in sobriety.


  • Do a Body Check

    As you know by now, heroin abuse wreaks havoc on your body. To get back on track after a relapse, get your body back on board. Revisit the basics. You know the drill: get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, eat nutritious meals. It’s sounds almost too simple, but it has a huge impact. You’ll feel better, both physically and mentally.


  • Lean on People

    Recovery isn’t a solo sport. Find a support group. Attend meetings. Reach out to your sponsor. (And if you don’t have one, get one.) Look to any other trusted sources of support available – family, friends, a mentor, pastor or other community groups. A strong network of support is critical to your success after a heroin relapse. And don’t wait around; seek support immediately after a relapse to redirect and rebuild your recovery.

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