What Do I Do if I Fall Off the Wagon?

What Do I Do if I Fall Off the Wagon?

What Do I Do if I Fall Off the Wagon?

People who struggle with substance use disorder can experience a relapse at any time. It can seemingly come out of nowhere, but there are ways to build a stronger foundation that may resist temptations to use alcohol or drugs. The trick is to turn a negative into an advantage.

Assess the Situation

When you are looking at reasons for falling off the wagon, it does not so much matter that it happened as what caused it to occur in the first place. The following are some tips to keep in mind if you have fallen off the wagon and are looking for a way forward up and out of the situation:

  • Tell someone what happened. It is scary to be honest in relapse situations but holding onto fear of judgment will keep you in a negative holding pattern. Honesty is a powerful tool against addiction.
  • Get help right away. Recovery is not something to go through alone. Just because you did not stay sober does not mean you are excluded from recovery support groups. As long as you desire sobriety, you’re welcome in a support group.
  • Be kind. Your first instinct might be to beat yourself up, but getting stuck in negative thought patterns only makes the cycle worse. Instead of wallowing in guilt and shame, forgive yourself. Keep things in perspective that it is only a minor setback and it is not failure.
  • Avoid triggers where possible. Avoid those triggers that may have propelled you to start using in the first place. Some people drink but others may be triggered being around booze. Being around family may create a desire to drink but once you know, it is easier to avoid it.
  • One day at a time. It is easy to spin out from fear of the future (or the past). The best thing to do is focus on staying sober today, right this moment. Worrying about tomorrow robs you of the joys today.

These things take time. There is no easy fix. If you fall of the wagon, you may need more than just friends to give you a boost. You may need additional support from a rehab and treatment facility that will support your long-term recovery. If you are feeling stuck and not sure which way to turn, think about it and assess what you need to do for yourself in recovery.



For more than 25 years, Palmetto Addiction Recovery Center has been devoted to helping those who are struggling, to find serenity and recover. With a focus on holistic treatment for the physical, emotional, and spiritual, our program effectively rebuilds and heals what has been broken by addiction. For information on our addiction treatment program in Louisiana, call us today: 866-848-3001