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Should I Go Back to Rehab? Signs and Symptoms

Many people struggle when they first get out of treatment, often thinking they can’t go back for additional support if they slip up. Some will even go a year or more, enduring the pain of relapse alone. It’s important to know that no matter what your path looks like, you can always reach out for help if you need it. Regardless of how far you may have strayed from your recovery journey or your original treatment program, and no matter how much time has passed, it’s always ok to seek support and return to rehab.

We help people with addictions and substance use disorders recover. Get mindfulness training and learn the 12 Steps for deeper healing.

Should I Try Rehab Again?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a leading authority of drug abuse and treatment in the United States, suggests in “Principles of Effective Treatment” that ensuring “adequate” amount of time in treatment is critical to an individual’s success beyond treatment:

The appropriate duration for an individual depends on the type and degree of the patient’s problems and needs. Research indicates that most addicted individuals need at least 3 months in treatment to significantly reduce or stop their drug use and that the best outcomes occur with longer durations of treatment.

Recovery from drug addiction is a long-term process and frequently requires multiple episodes of treatment. As with other chronic illnesses, relapses to drug abuse can occur and should signal a need for treatment to be reinstated or adjusted.

Because individuals often leave treatment prematurely, programs should include strategies to engage and keep patients in treatment.”

At Burning Tree Programs, we recognize that our clients are arriving with different needs. Some may benefit from 30 days or treatment, while others may require 60 to 90, or even a year or more of treatment.

Recommendations for length of stay are based on more than just an individual’s treatment history; they are based on numerous factors that may inhibit or facilitate individual, long-term success.

“For many patients, a continuing care approach provides the best results, with the treatment intensity varying according to a person’s changing needs” (NIDA, “Principles of Effective Treatment”).

Treatment does not end when an individual discharges from a residential program. As is the case with most chronic illness and disease, an individuals’ therapeutic and support needs are going to evolve along their recovery journey.

At BTP, we offer outpatient, support groups, and sober living to ensure that our clients have the support and ongoing assessment required to help them maintain their recovery post-residential treatment.

Wondering what length of treatment is most appropriate for you or your loved one? Let the team at BTP help you determine what length of treatment is most appropriate.

There’s a reason that our alum and their families continue to refer people they love with addiction struggles to Burning Tree Programs – We are the experts in short and long-term treatment.

Signs and Symptoms of Needing Rehab

When it comes to recovery, everyone’s path is different. However, there are some key signs and symptoms to be aware of that may suggest you need help. Some people never use or drink again but need additional treatment to improve coping skills and reinforce healthy habits.

Others relapse repeatedly, struggling to regain control over their addiction. These individuals often want to return to rehab but are held back by the shame of admitting defeat and starting over again.

Specifics and circumstances aside, the list below can help you to assess your experience and gain clarity on your needs moving forward.

  • Struggling to Function: Naturally, life has its ups and downs and we can’t expect every day to be perfect. Luckily, we have our coping mechanisms and our spirit to keep us going through those inevitable difficult moments. However, if you find that you’re coping skills are lacking and you are struggling to get to work, carry out basic chores and/or engage in basic hygiene, it may be time to reach out for help.
  • Lack of Motivation: Maybe you felt great when you first came out of treatment and the natural high of changing your life was keeping you going. Often, the initial lifestyle change can create a wave of motivation. Unfortunately, without consistent recovery action, that motivation can have a tendency to decrease over time. If you find yourself struggling to maintain your motivation, you might want to consider reaching out for help. Sobriety doesn’t mean we are motivated every day, but it does mean we keep the fire inside of us burning bright to fight the good fight.
  • Using Substance: For some, going back to rehab is a way to stop the car accident before it happens. Others wake up one day and find themselves in the middle of one. If you’ve started using or drinking again, even if it was an isolated incident, it’s time to go back to treatment. Typically, upon your first trip to rehab, you were using a significant amount of substances to cope. Now that you’re clean, your body is not used to metabolizing substances, so starting back up again can cause major health problems and even death, not to mention the significant mental suffering that is experienced as a result of active addiction. The sooner you get help, the more pain you will avoid.
  • Questioning: At the end of the day, if you find yourself questioning your return to rehab, just go. Spending hours in your head fighting the reality of your need for support is only wasting time and creating more of a struggle.  Clearly, there is something inside of you needing the type of structure and support that rehab provides. You may not need to attend an inpatient or residential facility, but there are numerous addiction support options available to offer you the support and safety you deserve.

Follow the Signs

There’s a belief that life is a series of tests, and that each time you refuse to make changes or acknowledge new perspectives, life will keep giving you the same test in different ways until you “pass.” This idea can seem frustrating, but the reality is that you have another chance at succeeding and you know far more this time around than you did on rehab trip #1. Use this opportunity to apply what you’ve already learned to a new challenge and give yourself the space and time you need to grow.

It may feel difficult to admit you need help. Remember that you’ve done it before and you can do it again. There is no shame in multiple visits to rehab. The only real shame would be denying yourself the health and wellness you deserve.

Dear Renewal Lodge Visitors,

My name is John Bruna, co-founder of the Mindfulness in Recovery® Institute, and more importantly, a grateful member of the recovery community. I am incredibly fortunate to have found my recovery in 1984. Of course, I did not achieve continuous recovery through willpower or my own efforts, but through the guidance and caring support of countless others that selflessly taught me how to live through the 12 Steps.

My journey of recovery brought this once homeless, shame-based, traumatized, insecure young man to a life far beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I discovered self-worth, the joy of helping others, the gifts of parenting and grandparenting, and most importantly the ability to live a meaningful and purposeful life with integrity.

One of the greatest gifts of recovery is that I have the opportunity to give back and help others discover their self-worth, dignity, and the skills to fully live lives that they find truly meaningful. This is the inspiration for developing the skills of Mindfulness in Recovery® (MIR) to meet the needs of new generations struggling with alcohol and other substance use disorders. MIR is a set of evidence-based skills designed to help people fully integrate their tools of recovery in ways that are personalized, practical, and in alignment with their deepest values.

While we train counselors and therapists throughout the United States and abroad, I personally have chosen to work directly with the amazing team and clients at Renewal Lodge to develop the model MIR 12-step program for the nation. I choose Renewal Lodge because of the vision of its mission and the dedication of its team. Renewal Lodge is an extremely rare environment in which the staff embodies the very mindfulness and 12-step practices and skills they offer their clients. The results have been beyond my expectations. It is an honor to be here and I treasure my personal time with every client I meet.

With Gratitude,

John Bruna
John Bruna
Director of Mindfulness