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. This is known as a slip rather than a relapse.
However, instances have been noted where the individual has returned to full-time addiction. Some will never be able to get another opportunity to attain sobriety. It is important that every effort is made to avoid relapse because it can be a death sentence. People do not usually return to their addiction out of nowhere. Instead, there are normally warning symptoms of what is about to happen. If the individual is in a position to spot the signs, he or she will be able to prevent disaster.
The symptoms that are most common indicating an individual is headed towards a relapse consist of: Isolation: this is the stage when the individual begins to stay away from other people.
They begin to keep secrets and even tell lies. Those who go to AA meetings or other support groups will stop sharing or attending meetings overall.
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.
Anger and resentment: The individuals blame those around them as their life in recovery is not turning out as they expected. 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 can deceive others but self-deception is only temporary. An obstacle to the recovery can also be the problems that are not dealt with.
Negative thinking: The individual is extremely negative about life outside of addiction. Its seems as though the individuals are searching for a reason to relapse.
Too much Confidence: Sometimes being too confident can be the very thing that leads to a relapse. People might be building a road to catastrophe if they are too confident about their recovery. It may result in self-satisfaction, and before even realizing what has happened people can be back in the hub of addiction. Recovery is no joke and letting your guard down is what could expose you to vulnerability.
Feeling overwhelmed: This is usually a sign of forthcoming relapse. Individuals are unable to think logically because they feel overcome. 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. Some of them might even forget that they had a really strong desire to get away from their addiction.
Addiction substitution: the individual makes an attempt to escape from their difficulties during the recovery by adopting fresh maladaptive behaviours. These can include exercising excessively or becoming obsessed with their job. Another mind-changing substance might be the choice of some people.
Acting like a dry drunk: This means that individuals continue behaving like they did when they abused drugs or alcohol although they don't. The commitment to sobriety of such individuals is weak thus a relapse can easily occur.
Meeting up with old buddies: Spending time with people with whom you used to drink or use drugs is a recipe for disaster. People who have a weak recovery will generally succumb to peer pressure to relapse.
Visiting drinking venues: Visiting a bar so long is usually safe for people with a strong recovery as they have a good reason to be there. It is hazardous when people visit these drinking venues in order to get derivative pleasure from watching other people abuse alcohol. Loneliness is also not a good reason for you to visit these places. That if you sit in a barber shop long enough, you will get your haircut is a common saying in AA and with good reason.
Looking at how a person ends up relapsing is the best way of understanding the warning signs that a person is about to relapse.
Before people relapse they go through this sequence of phases. Prior to using the drugs or alcohol, the process originates in a person's mind. Every individual is not likely to experience these precise steps, but it often provides useful description of the manner in which things can be expected to happen. Each of the steps is a part of the relapse process:
the individual stops making progress during the recovery.
When a person comes to face a problem that they don't or can't handle, this is usually what happens. The person will do their best not to pay mind to the signs that they are not moving forward. Life gets uncomfortable due to the lack of progress. To help them cope, the individual will turn to other habits that won't be of much help. Although it is easy for an individual to hide their internal uneasiness, it nonetheless continues to build up unrecognized.
These problems will finally become visible thanks to a triggering event. 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 person will then start to feel a rising emotional disturbance. This is the kind of discomposure a person would experience by sprawling into substance abuse. One may feel susceptible to these emotions after achieving sobriety. Thinking rationally and going on with a regular life becomes much more difficult because of this internal discomfort.
Other people may find the emotional unrest more obvious. Anger and agitation will become manifested more frequently. They may act in an inconsistent way. The individual who has gotten to this point will discontinue any efforts to maintain sobriety.
During this time, the feeling of being overwhelmed and going out of control was also be felt by the individual. In order to escape the difficulties of life, they spend more time thinking about how alcohol or drugs once allowed them. The incitement to stay sensible is now no longer enough to stop them from relapsing.
People may need to take action through the following steps if they spot the warning signs of an impending relapse:
Lay emphasis on the cause of surrendering their addiction in addition to their goals and expectations in recovery. Go through your recovery journal in case you've been writing one. Make remaining sober the main concern in life. Until a person is feeling safe and confident about staying sober all other things have to stay in the background. They should not be taking additional responsibilities or making changes to their lives because the time certainly does not warrant it.
It is almost important that the individual discusses their relapse with someone who is going to be able to listen and provide the good suggestion. Their sponsor is the perfect person to talk to if they are part of a 12 Step program. It is suggested to those that have a therapist to schedule an urgent meeting. You can get in touch with someone you used to talk to at the treatment centre in case you just recently let the clinic. It is important to the individual to avoid isolation by having a discussion with a helpful member. People who belong to a fellowship are provided advice to increase the regularity of their attendance during this time, which is highly vulnerable. We strongly recommend them to share their concerns while discussing at these meetings.
Former drinking and drug using friends should be completely avoided during this time. If you're an alcoholic and feeling weak then this is not the best time to got to a place where you can easily access alcohol. 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. Going through this exercise with a person who is more firmly rooted in their own recovery or a counsellor can be very helpful. This can be a great time to read motivational recovery material. It works as a motivation for people to stay sober. Online addiction recovery resources are available and people can use them. Look for addiction help lines that are open 24/7.
People need to seriously think about using one of these help lines if they are feeling susceptible to relapse.