Youre Surrounded By People Who Are Still Using
Your decision to quit an addiction may not be recognised or supported by friends or relatives particularly people who are still addicted themselves. Spending too much time with friends who question your decision, or relatives who try to persuade you to use again can catch you off guard.
If you keep relapsing with certain people, then why not take a break while you establish your recovery?
Rule : Be Completely Honest
Addiction requires lying. Addicts must lie about getting their drug, hiding the drug, denying the consequences, and planning their next relapse. Eventually, addicted individuals end up lying to themselves. Clinical experience shows that when clients feel they cannot be completely honest, it is a sign of emotional relapse. It is often said that recovering individuals are as sick as their secrets. One of the challenges of therapy is to help clients practice telling the truth and practice admitting when they have misspoken and quickly correcting it.
How honest should a person be without jeopardizing his or her work or relationships? Clients are encouraged to understand the concept of a recovery circle. This is a group of people that includes family, doctors, counselors, self-help groups, and sponsors. Individuals are encouraged to be completely honest within their recovery circle. As clients feel more comfortable, they may choose to expand the size of their circle.
Probably the most common misinterpretation of complete honesty is when individuals feel they must be honest about what is wrong with other people. Honesty, of course, is self-honesty. I like to tell patients that a simple test of complete honesty is that they should feel uncomfortably honest when sharing within their recovery circle. This is especially important in self-help groups in which, after a while, individuals sometimes start to go through the motions of participating.
Why Do Addicts Relapse
Relapse occurs when someone returns to substance use after a period of abstinence. It is a common setback among people recovering from addiction. In fact, many individuals in recovery experience more than one relapse in their lives.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, between 40 and 60 percent of people recovering from drug addiction relapse. These recurrence rates are similar to those of other chronic diseases, including Type 1 diabetes and hypertension.
Staying sober takes time, practice and commitment, and a relapse does not mean treatment has failed. Addiction is a brain disorder that causes people to engage in compulsive drug use despite knowing the physical, legal and social consequences.
People in recovery from this disease may return to heavy drug or alcohol use. A number of factors can cause people to relapse, but long-term recovery is possible for those dedicated to living healthy, sober lives.
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Helping Your Loved One Avoid A Relapse
After a friend or family member has gone through addiction treatment the fear of a relapse may prey on your mind, but there are ways to help make relapse less likely.
The possibility of addiction relapse is an unfortunate reality that anyone battling an addiction must face. But not everyone relapses. It is estimated that about half of those treated for an addiction for the first time will remain in recovery without any setbacks.
And while you want to do everything you can to help your loved one who’s gone through treatment for addiction, you shouldn’t feel like it’s your responsibility to prevent a relapse from happening. It is only the addict who can ultimately decide to whether or when he will take another drink or snort a line of cocaine.
But you dont have to stand by helplessly either: There are things you can do to support your loved one after addiction treatment to reduce their chances of relapse.
Avoiding Drug Relapse: Start With Tailored Treatment
Researchers have found that addicts who continue with their treatment and with follow-up therapy are least likely to relapse.
“The hope is that people with addictions don’t ever really get out of treatment,” says Thomas Kosten, MD, Jay H. Waggoner chair and founder of the division of substance abuse at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
Once the treatment course has been determined, family members and friends can help loved ones continue with their treatment plan by:
Avoiding Drug Relapse: What You Shouldnt Do
Get Help Setting Realistic Expectations For Your Addiction Recovery
If youre ready to enter addiction recovery, 12 Keys Rehab is here to help. Our trained staff can help you establish and maintain realistic expectations throughout the addiction recovery process. The 12 Keys Model provides you with individualized treatment to ensure your addiction recovery fits your specific needs. Contact 12 Keys Rehab today to get started on your journey to recovery.
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Identify Actions To Take When Relapse Occurs
Since the possibility for deterioration is high, recidivism prevention worksheets also include activities where the individual must lay out a plan in case the worst does happen. Some common options may include reaching out for help immediately, attending self-help groups, avoiding further contact with potential triggers such as alcohol and illicit drugs.
Creating A Relapse Prevention Plan
People who attend therapy learn skills and strategies for preventing relapse. During rehab, many people create specific plans for risky situations or times when they feel tempted to use drugs or drink alcohol.
Relapse prevention plans should be easily accessible and realistic. They can be detailed or simple. A relapse prevention plan can be a list of reminders written on a note or mobile app. Or it can be a journal or workbook where you develop a comprehensive list of risky scenarios and the corresponding actions to take to maintain sobriety.
Relapse prevention plans should include:
- Someone to call
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You Were Doing So Well What Happened
You may be wondering, What causes a relapse? Oftentimes, the smallest occurrence or barrier can result in seeking refuge or release.
Instead of worrying about what caused the relapse, be more proactive and know your loved ones individualized warning signs. Speaking up if you observe any warning signs will be more helpful to their recovery process.
More importantly, you must remember that addiction is not a choice. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , substance use disorder is a medical condition and should be treated as such.
What To Do Right After A Relapse
Whether you have experienced a relapse in the past or not, knowing how to deal with one can help you prevent future setbacks and recover if one should happen. Remember, no relapse is too big to recover from. If you or a loved one have suffered a relapse, consider taking action as soon as you can by:
The sooner you take steps to intervene following a relapse, the easier it is to get back on track. However, it is never too late to recover from a relapse, so dont be discouraged if you think youve gone too far back into your addiction. It is not uncommon to need professional help to stop using after a relapse many people benefit from the added support of an addiction treatment program a second and even third time .
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Youre In A Bad Environment
The second reason is your environment or to put it bluntly, your environment is shit.
Every time you decide to get high, your brain is associating the rush of dopamine to a number of conditions. These conditions like location, time of day, and your emotions make up your environment.
The more times you relapse in a certain environment, the more those conditions are associated with relapsing. Neurologically this is called synaptic pruning, the process of frequently used synaptic connections growing stronger while others weaken in the brain.
Its why when youre home alone after a stressful day at work, you feel triggered to relapse. Your brain has hardwired that environment and youre reminded of past relapses or substance use.
The synapses in the brain can be pruned, but they can also regrow. You can unlearn any environmental triggers you learned.
The trick to forcing new synaptic growth is to replace the common triggers to use drugs with a better environment so you arent reminded of previous substance abuse. A new environment where youre less likely to fall for the temptation of relapse and can exercise strong coping skills.
Regardless of your triggers, here are three changes to your environment to implement right now.
- Tidy up or declutter
- Increase the amount of light
- Introduce an indoor plant
Rearranging or getting new furniture can also help with creating a fresh space.
Develop And Follow Through On Your Aftercare Plan
Toward the end of your time in treatment, youll sit with your counselor or case manager and develop an aftercare plan. Aftercare refers to the support plan youll follow after graduating your program and leaving the treatment facility. Adhering to your outlined program is one of the best ways to prevent relapse.
The majority of aftercare plans include some form of outpatient program or drug and alcohol counseling. Some include 12-step meetings or living in a sober living. The details of your specific aftercare plan will depend on the requirements and offerings available at your facility.
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However, if youve fallen back into a continued pattern of substance abuse, you might need to get back into a strict treatment program. If you find yourself talking about using substances, hang out with people who encourage you to drink, or fall back into substance abuse to cope, this is a sign of a bigger problem needing immediate treatment.
Ive relapsed many times but this was the longest Ive stayed sober. If I could do this, anyone could. I almost died, almost went back to jail, almost lost everything I worked so hard to protect. But you can make it back. I did.
Upon returning to treatment, this time should have a deeper emphasis on therapy, particularly cognitive behavioral therapy , which has been successful in teaching recovering addicts new behavioral responses to distorted thinking. Other forms of therapy to explore that are available at many treatment programs include art and music therapy, yoga and relaxation techniques, physical fitness and even equine therapy. After treatment, you can continue to use these strategies and tools to maintain a stress-free life, additionally using these methods to cope with depression, grief, anxiety or anger.
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With just 30 days at a rehab center, you can get clean and sober, start therapy, join a support group, and learn ways to manage your cravings.
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Get Help With Drug And Alcohol Relapse Prevention
Staying clean after rehab is an achievable goal, but it is extremely difficult without help. Even with the assistance of a 12-step group and an excellent sponsor, recovery is a tough road to travel. Thats why you should utilize every expert resource you can. JourneyPure Emerald Coast, Floridas premier drug and alcohol rehab center, understands that preventing drug and alcohol relapse is just as important as completing an effective addiction treatment program.
At JourneyPure Emerald Coast, our comprehensive aftercare includes a relapse prevention program thats open to everyone looking to stay clean after rehab, not just those who have completed our initial treatments. With individually-molded programs, expert clinical care and a wealth of support from peers and professionals alike, we are your destination for top-tier rehab and drug and alcohol relapse prevention programs.
If you or someone you care about needs drug and alcohol relapse help, dont hesitate. Contact JourneyPure Emerald Coast to find out more about beating addiction and living the healthy life you deserve.
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What Are The Types Of Relapse
What is most often considered a traditional relapse occurs when someone makes a conscious decision to drink or use drugs. For example, they may choose to smoke marijuana to relieve stress after a year of sobriety or have a glass of wine with friends because they feel like they can manage it without going overboard. A freelapse, on the other hand, is the colloquial term for an accidental relapse that happens when a person unintentionally uses drugs or alcohol. This could happen when they mistakenly drink alcohol thinking they were being given a non-alcoholic beverage at a party.
Sometimes, you unknowingly begin taking steps toward a relapse weeks or months before actually drinking or using drugs. Certain thoughts, feelings, and events may trigger cravings and urges for drugs and alcohol, and, if not properly dealt with, may increase your chances of relapsing.
A relapse often proceeds in a series of 3 stages:2
People who relapse often face risk factors in the days, weeks, or months leading up to the actual act of relapsing. These usually come in the form of difficult feelings or experiences that challenge their ability to cope with their addictions without their substance of choice. And, the greater the number of risk factors, the higher your risk for relapse.3
Some of the most common risk factors for relapse include:1,35
You Dont Believe Youre An Addict
You might think giving up alcohol, drugs or another harmful habit is just a case of more will power. Perhaps you try to motivate yourself by signing up to the gym or saving for a holiday. You start off feeling inspired to change, but you keep relapsing once the initial momentum fades.
These kinds of goals can work well for people who arent addicted. If youre an addict, however, there are usually physical and psychological reasons why you are hooked. Most people need some help to face up to being an addict whether thats professional or peer support .
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Recognise Early Warning Signs To Prevent Relapse
The warning signs of relapse can differ, depending on whether the person is in the emotional, mental or physical stage or relapse. Early on, the warning signs may not be easy to spot, but this is when it is most crucial to notice them. If you have already experienced relapse before, learning how to recognise these signs can really help you to avoid them in the future. Then you wont have to ask yourself again, Why do I keep relapsing?
A Supportive Environment Can Help Prevent Relapse
Support also comes in the form of environmental settings. If a person just came home from an alcoholism treatment programme, it is probably a good idea to remove all alcohol from the house. Many people also change jobs after treatment because they find their old job was a direct or indirect trigger for their addiction. Another factor can be ones social circle. Hanging out with old drinking buddies is probably not the best place to start ones life of sobriety.
Patients attending the Relapse Prevention Course at Castle Craig are told that the first few weeks after rehab treatment need very careful consideration because at some stage, some event will occur that tests their sobriety. This might be a stressful argument where emotions run high or just the smell is cannabis in a doorway. It may be totally unexpected but it will happen, because life is full of such moments. The key is to anticipate such moments and have a plan to handle the situation already in place a phone number to call or a meeting to go to.
If the person wasnt taught proper coping methods or wasnt given the right treatment, their recovery isnt likely to last. This is why aftercare is crucial in addiction treatment. If a person repeatedly relapses after completing an outpatient programme, they may need a more intense treatment, such as a residential rehab.
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You Resent Having To Quit Your Addiction
There are many reasons people resent having to quit an addiction. Maybe your GP has told you that alcohol is damaging your liver, so you have to stop drinking. Or your partner has given you an ultimatum about gambling if you do it again, youll have to leave. Your employer may have given you a final warning about attendance or work performance.
If you feel the decision to stop isnt your own, then you might feel resentful. You keep relapsing because you dont want to change. This is where intensive residential rehab can be transformative revealing the precise reasons why you want to stop for yourself, as well as giving you the strategies to sustain addiction recovery.
Please contact Addiction Helper to discuss addiction treatment programmes to help you stop your addiction and stay stopped.
Make Healthy Eating And Sleeping A Priority
Healthy eating and sleeping are essential, especially to recovering addicts. Did you know that sleep deprivation has been linked to decreased cognitive functioning, negative moods, decreased productivity, and a variety of physical conditions? Establish a set bedtime and stick with it. Likewise, get into the habit of making healthy meals for yourself. Why not frequent your local farmers market or try a cooking class to learn some new recipes? What you eat can make a tremendous difference in how you feel.
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Remember That Your Loved One Is Still There
The person they may appear to be while on drugs is not them. You can be there for them, ready to help them come back to life again.
If your loved one was free of drugs for a long time and is now in relapse, understand that this is not a failure. Many people have had a slip in their recovery and come back from it.