When individual relapses after a period without substance abuse it is a big setback.
Some of those might be able to avoid disaster by quitting straight away after reacting that way in the heat of the moment. In this case, it's not referred to as a relapse but a slip.
However, in many cases, the individual will make a full return to active addiction. Some will never be able to get another opportunity to attain sobriety. It is important that you try as much as possible to avoid a relapse because it could easily end in death. Going back to addiction usually doesn't happen suddenly. When a relapse is likely, there is usually some warning sign of what's coming. To avoid adversity an individual must have the ability to spot these tell-tale signs.
Some of the most notable signs of an individual who is sliding towards relapse include the following: Isolation: This is where the individual get into cutting themselves off from other people.
They begin behaving secretly or even adopt dishonest practices. Those that go to AA gatherings might stop doing it or they might not feel the desire to share.
Frustration: The person will start to feel like their recovery is stuck in a rut and they'll no longer feel like they're moving forward.
Lots of interest during the recovery: people stop accepting advice about how to stay sober and provided by the professionals to give an indication that they have given up on the procedure or have lost interest completely.
Anger and bitterness: Individuals might feel like their expectations about life in recovery were wrong and they might feel like their loved ones are causing this. Thus get an excuse to return to alcohol or drugs due to these feelings.
Denial of problems: Denying that you are having problems with life away from addiction is one of the worst things that a person in recovery can do. They won't be able to deceive themselves for long, even if they manage to deceive others. Hitches that are not resolved can become a hindrance to recovery.
"Stinking thinking": This entails that people start having severely negative thoughts about their life without substance abuse. Its seems as though the individuals are searching for a reason to relapse.
Overconfidence: As the saying goes, pride surely precedes a fall. Individuals who are overconfident about the recovery could be setting themselves up for disaster. Complacency can be caused due to this and people can return to the midst of addiction before they even understand what has happened. People are most vulnerable when they let their guard down because the recovery is a serious business.
Feeling overwhelmed: This is usually a sign of forthcoming relapse. People are often unable to think rationally when they feel overwhelmed. They can easily be the lead back to the addiction due to the desire to escape the discomfort.
Romancing the Drug/Drink: When a person starts to recall the fun times they experienced while using they are said to be romancing the drink/drug. They may begin to long for the last days. It's easy for a person in this situation to see the past as something more splendid than it really was. People can even forget how much they desired to get rid of their addiction.
Addiction substitution: the individual makes an attempt to escape from their difficulties during the recovery by adopting fresh maladaptive behaviours. Overworking or obsessively exercising are some commonly seen behaviours. Some individuals will develop another habit of using other mind-altering substances.
Acting drunk without drinking: People do not alter their behaviour regardless of no longer drinking. Such individuals may relapse more easily as they have a weak dedication to sobriety.
Spending time with the old crowd: It can be highly dangerous if the individuals move back to spending time with their old drinking or drug using chaps. Group pressure can influence individuals into relapse if they have a fragile recovery.
Frequenting Former Hangouts: If you have a good reason to be there, there is no problem for a person who's well rooted in the recovery to got to a bar. It is hazardous when people visit these drinking venues in order to get derivative pleasure from watching other people abuse alcohol. It is also an awful idea to go there in solitude. They say in AA that if you sit in a barber shop long enough, you will get your hair cut.
You will be able to understand better what are the warning signs of a possible return to substance abuse if we put it in the context of the relapse process.
This is a sequence of the process that suggests what usually happens before people relapse. The process normally starts inside the mind of individual long before they actually pick up the drink or drug. These exact steps will not be experienced by everyone, but it does provide a useful description of the way things often happen. Each of the steps is a part of the relapse process:
1. Progress in recovery comes to a stop or just a slow shuffle.
This is usually the case when people are faced with challenges because they get the feeling that they will be unable or are unwilling to deal with them. They make attempts to ignore the signs that they are not making any recovery. Life gets uncomfortable due to the lack of progress. To face these challenges, the person might adopt flawed coping techniques. Even if they are successful in keeping their problems hidden at this point, these problems will continue to grow under the surface.
A catalyst event offers the chance for this inner discomposure to become surficial. The tension has been building up over time due to which the individual overreacts while this could be a minor argument over something trivial. Increasing emotional turmoil will be experienced by the individual during this stage. This is the kind of discomposure a person would experience by sprawling into substance abuse. People begin to feel that they are vulnerable to these emotions because they have attained sobriety. Living life normally becomes much harder with all the issues bubbling underneath the surface that will be preventing the person from thinking clearly.
The emotional unrest will become obvious to other people. People may begin to appear angry or agitated. They might start acting unpredictably. The things the person used to do to stay sober will no longer matter to the person at this point.
The individual now feels overwhelmed and out of control. They devote a lot of time to thinking about how drugs or alcohol once permitted them to escape life's problems. The motivation to remain sober is presently not significant enough to prevent them from relapsing.
It is important to take corrective action as quickly as possible the moment you start to see the signs of a possible relapse.
Pay attention to the reasons why they gave up their addiction and consider the hopes and aspirations they had during the recovery. If they have been maintaining a journal, it would be a good idea for them to go back and read the journal. Remaining sober should be their top priority in life. Until you feel a little more grounded in the recovery process, you should make everything else a secondary consideration. Don't make any big changes or take on new responsibilities at this point in time.
Sharing relapse fears with someone that will listen and give a solid advice is very important for these individuals. In the event where an individual belongs to a 12 step group, the persons sponsor is the best person to turn to. An emergency appointment with a therapist is recommended. There may be somebody whom people can contact if they have recently left rehab. Not being alone and talking with others is very crucial at this time. Attend fellowship meetings more often during this period in case you're a member of one. Also it is suggested that they open up about their concerns while speaking at these gatherings.
Former drinking and drug using friends should be completely avoided during this time. Going to drinking venues is also not very smart move for recovering addicts, especially if they are feeling down. The reasons why a number of people relapses are because they have committed some mistakes during their recovery. It is essential for them to retrace their steps to understand how or where this has occurred. Doing this examination with your therapist or someone that is solid in their own recovery can be very advantageous. This is a good time also to read some inspirational recovery material. Individuals might be inspired to stay sober by this. People can also utilize dependency recovery resources that can be found on the Internet. There are helplines for addicts that are open at all times and you should make use of these to get advice.
Individual should certainly consider using one of these helplines if they are feeling vulnerable to relapse.