For those who have been struggling with addiction for a while, they know about relapse. Relapse is when a person has been clean of substances for a while, starts to use drugs or alcohol again. It is quite normal for one to relapse trying to get sober. It is said to be part of the process.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), More than 85% of people with addictions who stop using a drug begin using it again within a year. Relapses can be pretty dangerous, especially for persons that have been off substances for a long period of time. When a person is sober for some time, they lose the tolerance they once had for the drug they were using on a frequent basis. When that person relapses and goes to use the same amount they were used to without having the same tolerance, their chance of overdosing is very high, and they risk death.
Having a substance abuse problem, and trying to stay on the path of recovery is a lifelong battle. The chance of relapse is always a possibility no matter how long a person has been sober. When a person does relapse it can be hard to get back on track. Relapse doesn’t just happen out of nowhere. It actually starts way before a drug or drink is picked up. Relapse is preventable if you or a loved one can recognize the warning signs.
Common Relapse Warning Signs
Relapse is actually a process and not a one-time event. A Relapse can start weeks or even months before the actual physical relapse. There are warning signs that can be recognized beforehand. According to The National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, there are three stages of relapse:
Emotional relapse can be an easy one to fall back into, especially if a person has been doing the same daily routine for a while with work, meetings, sleeping, eating. Life can get pretty boring at times, and one can emotionally feel stuck. A person can feel like something is wrong when everything is fine. This happens in life and recovery. One cannot let it get them down. Keep sharing at meetings, keep showing up and fellowshipping, don’t isolate. When a person stops doing their normal routine, he starts focusing outward on others and losing one’s self-care; this is the start of emotional relapse.
Mental relapses can happen to persons that are not new in recovery and actually can have multiple years in the program. When one starts to think to oneself that maybe someday down the road, it would be ok to pick up a drink or a drug on occasion. We made it this far so what would be the harm if we already have skills in this thing called addiction. These thoughts can get a person in trouble, making plans and “bargaining” when it would be acceptable to use. Thinking about past usage, the people, places and things. Having occasional thoughts of using is normal because once a person has experienced addiction; it is impossible for it to go away. If one has good coping skills it shouldn’t be an issue, but if it is getting to the point of fantasizing and compulsive thoughts about using then one needs to seek some sort of therapy or professional advice. Do not keep it to oneself.
Physical relapse is when the individual starts using a drink or a drug and continues to use it beyond that initial use. If one has been able to learn the necessary coping skills and learn about relapse prevention, then a relapse can be caught way before. It won’t have to come to the final, most difficult stage where they will have to say no.
If you or a loved one has relapsed, remember that no one has to stay addicted. We’re available around the clock to consult with you. We’ll explain to you exactly how our inpatient detox works. More importantly, we’ll listen to your concerns and answer your questions. You’ll feel better just by calling a professional who truly cares. You’ll hang up the phone and go back to your life feeling hopeful, certain that Allure Detox will get your life back on track.