A high percentage of all recovering addicts will suffer one relapse before they achieve life long sobriety. If you, or a loved one, have suffered from drug or alcohol addiction, then you understand that there could come a time when an alcohol or drug relapse may occur. Although often misunderstood, recovery from an addiction is often a continuous life long process, and no one is ever “cured” completely from the temptation to relapse.
Why do Drug Relapses Occur?
Alcohol and drug relapses occur when an individual starts abusing the same drug all over again after a period of sobriety. While relapses are a common occurrence during the recovery process, relapses should never be accepted as a form of failure as set backs do happen. Sometimes, a relapse just amounts to not taking medication that has been prescribed, or not having good coping mechanisms to deal with the stresses of daily life.
A good quality drug and alcohol relapse prevention program can help educate addicts on how to properly handle a relapse, and to see the signs of a potential relapse in the future. If you do not have a local drug or alcohol relapse prevention program, you can always receive advice from a counselor. If you do not have a counselor that you see regularly for your addiction, I recommend seeing one on a regular basis to prevent future relapses, and learn the warning signs of a potential relapse before they occur.
Warnings Signs of Relapsing
Even though relapse is very common and often predicted to happen, there are a few warning signs that can be seen leading up to a possible relapse. Some of the more common signs are changes in attitude towards recovering, increased amount of stress, withdrawal symptoms, changes in behavior, loss of judgment and control, and just a feeling of not having a good routine to keep preoccupied.
Relapse can be preventing if you know the signs before a relapse occurs. An individual who has suffered from a drug or alcohol addiction has a long road ahead of them. Addicts require life long care in order to remain sober.
How to Resist the Urges to Relapse
When you’re going through the first few weeks of sobriety, resisting the urge to relapse will be one of the biggest challenges. Surrounding yourself with a support group of family and friends will help take your mind off of the urges to drink or do drugs. By actually fixating on the addition itself, is not good to do. That’s what keeps it on your mind. Keep yourself preoccupied, and think about how to turn the negative feeling of wanting to slip to how to change it into a positive thought. Think to yourself, “How can I improve my life?”
What to Do if You or a Loved One Relapses
Even before a relapse occurs, if there is a feeling of temptation to drink or do drugs, the first step is to go back for treatment immediately. All it takes is one relapse to seriously harm or kill a person. This is not meant to scare you, but if you have been “clean” for some time and you take the same amount of drugs or drink the same amount of alcohol as you did before, your body might not be able to handle the large doses of either of them. If a relapse does occur at any point, the best advice to give is to seek treatment immediately before it spirals out of control.