When individual relapses after a period without substance abuse it is a big setback.
Some of those who pick up on the spur of the moment do manage to avoid calamity by quitting again right away. It is a slip not a relapse.
Many people, unfortunately, don't stop themselves and find themselves deep in the addiction. Some will never be able to get another opportunity to attain sobriety. It is very important that extreme effort is made to elude relapse since it can be deadly to many. People do not usually return to their addiction out of nowhere. On the contrary, it will not be difficult to spot the warning signs about the impending disaster. You can avoid the problem if you can just notice the signs early enough.
Some of the usual signs that a person might be going towards relapse are: Isolation: this is the stage when the individual begins to stay away from other people.
They start acting secretively or even dishonestly. Those who attend support groups or the AA meetings will quit sharing or stop going to meetings altogether.
The feeling of being stuck in recovery: People feel that they are no longer making any progress, therefore, they become frustrated.
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.
Rage and bitterness: The individual blames those around them because life in recovery is not turning out to be what they expected. These feelings provide people the excuses they need to return to alcohol or drugs.
Denying their situation: If life after the addiction is far from ideal yet the person won't admit to this fact, this could be a major problem. They cannot fool themselves for long even if they might fool other people. The recovery process can be seriously hampered by any issue that isn't resolved.
"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. Individuals can quickly turn back to their addiction before they even understand what is going on since this can lead to carelessness. Recovery is a serious business, and people are considered most vulnerable when they don't think about the business of recovery similarly.
Feeling unable to cope: an imminent relapse often exhibits signs of the individual not coping with the recovery. People are 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. Longing for those times might even occur. The past might look a lot prettier than it really was since memory can deceive people. Some of them might even forget that they had a really strong desire to get away from their addiction.
New Addictions: The person may start to engage in other unhealthy behaviours in an attempt to avoid their hardships. This could consist of obsession of their job or extreme physical exercise. Some people will begin to use other mind altering substances.
Behaving like a dry drunk: people who had recently given up on their behaviour of using drugs, and alcohol begin to act like that done so much earlier. A dry drunk can easily relapse and won't be as committed as they should be to staying sober.
Meeting up with old buddies: Spending time with people with whom you used to drink or use drugs is a recipe for disaster. Group pressure can influence individuals into relapse if they have a fragile recovery.
Going to drinking spots: With a good intentions people who have strongly recovered from addiction are harmless at drinking venues. It is hazardous when people visit these drinking venues in order to get derivative pleasure from watching other people abuse alcohol. The idea of visiting places like these out of sheer boredom or loneliness is also a terrible habit. In AA they say that you will definitely get your haircut if you sit in a barber shop long enough.
In the context of the relapse process, the warning signs of a return to addiction can be better understood.
Before people relapse they go through this sequence of phases. In most cases, way before people reach for the drink or drug the process starts in their brain. These same steps may not be familiar to everybody but they give a insightful look on how things mostly occur. These steps are all phases of the relapse process:
the individual stops making progress during the recovery.
This occurs because they are confronted with a problem they don't want to deal with, or are unable to cope with. The signs that show that they have stopped progressing are often disregarded. They find life becoming uncomfortable because of the lack of progress. To face these challenges, the person might adopt flawed coping techniques. This pain will keep on building inside even if they manage to bury it deep down.
This internal pain will then be exhibited when a trigger situation offers a chance for this. Since these issues have been building up for a long time, a simple argument could result in an overreaction even if the argument is over something trivial. The individual will start to feel growing emotional havoc. This is the kind of discomposure a person would experience by sprawling into substance abuse. In sobriety, these feelings may make the person feel vulnerable. The individual finds it hard to think straight and carry on with normal life due to inner turmoil.
The emotional unrest could become more pronounced to other people. The individual may appear agitated or angry. They might start acting unpredictably. When people reach this stage, he or she will usually stop doing the things that are required in order to maintain sobriety.
The individual no longer feels in control and is overcome. How the alcohol or the drugs once helped them to avoid the problems in their life will occupy the thoughts of the individual. The drive to remain sober is now no longer sufficient enough to stop them from relapsing.
The following steps should be taken as action against a forthcoming relapse if warning signs are spotted:
Lay emphasis on the cause of surrendering their addiction in addition to their goals and expectations in recovery. If they have been maintaining a journal, it would be a good idea for them to go back and read the journal. Make remaining sober the main concern in life. Everything else has to take a backseat until the individual is feeling safer in abstinence. Now is not the time to be making important life changes or taking on new responsibilities.
It is absolutely important that the person who has fears about their relapse shares them with an individual who will offer good advice and listen. If the individual belongs to a 12 step group, their sponsor will be the appropriate authority whom they should be turning to. Make an urgent appointment with your counsellor if you have one. There may be somebody whom people can contact if they have recently left rehab. Talking to somebody and avoiding isolation is the important thing. 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.
Totally evade previous drinking or drug abusing associates during this period. People who are feeling vulnerable should be looking forward to staying away from places where alcohol is served because they are after all recovering addicts. Going sideways from their road to recovery is the cause of relapsing for many people. 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. You should also ready stories about recovery that will inspire you at this point. Individuals might be inspired to stay sober by this. You can also utilize the many resources that are available on the internet for people who are in recovery. Ask for dependency help lines that work non-stop.
Making use of the helplines is especially vital in moments where an individual feels helpless.