Tuesday, April 16, 2024

What To Do When An Addict Relapses

Most Common Reasons For Addiction Relapse

What To Do When An Addict Has A Relapse?

Unfortunately relapse rates for individuals who enter recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction are quite high. Studies reflect that about 40-60% of individuals relapse within 30 days of leaving an inpatient drug and alcohol treatment center, and up to 85% relapse within the first year. It is important for individuals who struggle with an alcohol dependence or other substance dependence to acknowledge the high risk for relapse, have an awareness of what their own personal triggers are, and learn to cope with their triggers and emotions in a healthy way. Through an understanding of common risks for addiction relapse, individuals can be better equipped and better able to maintain their recovery. Here are a list of 10 common triggers that contribute to addiction relapse.

1. Withdrawal

2. Mental Health

3. People

4. Places

5. Things

6. Poor Self-Care

7. Relationships and Intimacy

8. Pride and Overconfidence

9. Boredom and Isolation

10. Uncomfortable Emotions

For more information on addiction treatment, therapy and mental health, sober coaching, sober companions, or to inquire about our private concierge therapy services and/or our teletherapy services in New York City please contact our undisclosed therapy office location in the Upper East Side of NYC today at 220-2912.

Treatment For Porn Addiction

It can be difficult to prevent relapse, because pornography is so widely available. Most of the porn that people use these days is found on the internet. The fact that many of us use computers all day for work or school can make maintaining abstinence especially difficult.

Like other addictions, it is important for you to get the help you need to address the underlying issues that led to and maintained your addiction. While you may have gone through treatment before, if you have relapsed in your porn addiction, you may want to consider seeking treatment again. Most people try many forms of treatment before finding the best one for them.

Various porn addiction treatment options include:

  • Individual therapy: Working one-on-one with a therapist can be especially helpful in dealing with commonly co-occurring issues such as depression and anxiety. Individual therapy sessions will also afford you the time to carefully tailor your relapse prevention plan to the unique aspects of your personality and your life in this private setting.
  • Outpatient programs: Even though you may have completed a treatment program, you may want to revisit an outpatient program after a significant relapse. You attend groups while still living at home and going to school or work on a part-time basis.
  • Inpatient programs: In more serious cases of relapse , you may consider going back to an inpatient or residential treatment program, which requires that you stay at the facility for the length of treatment.

What Happens When Your Loved One Denies Their Substance Use Disorder

This is a common scenario as well. The second approach is to urge them to seek help for another issue. For example, its common for addicted people to have issues with depression or anxiety. Theres a good chance that the substance use disorder will be brought up when they see a therapist for mental health problems.

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Create Or Contact Your Support System

One of the last, but by no means the least, important steps is to build up a strong social support system. Feeling alone or like youre struggling by yourself can be extremely discouraging. By creating a network of friends, family members, and other people in recovery, you can source the support and encouragement you need to stay sober even when its hard.

Often, its your support network that notices something is wrong long before you do, and they can get you the help you need or encourage you to do so yourself, should need be. Even if its just one or two people who really care, they could mean the difference between a second relapse or a life of fulfilling sobriety.

Relapses Are Common In Recovering Addicts

What To Do When An Alcoholic Relapses

Most addicts in recovery will slip up at some point and give in to the temptation to use again. This return to substance use is called a relapse. They are quite common and can happen to anyone recovering from addiction. In fact, it is a rare individual who recovers from substance abuse without relapsing at least once. It takes practice and patience to learn how to live without drugs.

For example, someone trying to eat less or exercise more. People can slip up and eat too much, can gain back some of the very weight they are trying to lose. But these are not reasons to give up also this is when you should simply try again.

It is the same way when one tries to quit substance use. People with addiction might log some recovery time, slip up, and go back to trying many more times before recovery sticks. If a relapse happens, the person should reach out for help and get back into treatment as quickly as possible. If you are asking yourself how to help a loved one who relapsed, then the main answer is they will need both encouragement and inspiration for this new try at sobriety.

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Discuss Your Feelings With The Person Who Has Relapsed

When thinking about how to help someone who has relapsed, it is important to consider how you will sit down and talk to the person about your worries.

We understand that this is a difficult conversation and is one youre probably dreading but it is so important to have. Here are some things to think about in preparation for the discussion:

  • Choose a place that is private and where you will both feel comfortable
  • Focus the conversation on your thoughts, feelings and observations by using phrases like Ive noticed, Im worried about or Im scared that By keeping the conversation on you rather than them, this can stop the person from becoming defensive or feeling as though you are attacking them. It can also help them to see how their relapse has been affecting you and others who care about them, which can sometimes help a person recognise the extent of their problem
  • When you talk to them, dont try and reason with them, as the pull of their addiction will often be so much stronger than logical and rational thought
  • While it may be tough, try not to lose your temper. Its perfectly understandable for you to feel angry and upset, but express these thoughts and feelings with others

If you talk to the person who has relapsed and they aren’t ready to hear what you want to say, pause the conversation and have it at a different time.

How To Deal With Relapse

Should the substance user come to a point of re-entering treatment and stop the insanity associated with the relapse, great benefit can be derived from the relapse experience. Any time there is a relapse, it can be processed with the treatment team to dissect where and when it started and why. Every relapse starts with a behavioral lapse that compounds to more lapses as the behaviors go unaddressed. Identifying and reviewing these experiences can help strengthen and prepare a substance user with an effective relapse prevention plan moving forward. The average addict or alcoholic has several treatment attempts before maintaining long-term sobriety. Every treatment brings value and every relapse can bring perspective. Some get it the first time, and some have to go through it several times before realizing that substances are the solution to the problem and not the problem in and of itself.

Also Check: How To Stop Being Addicted

Build A Support Network To Keep In Touch With After Treatment

Trying to stay away from drugs and prevent relapse on your own is a difficult challenge. Its more tempting to turn back to drugs when you dont have a support group to hold you accountable. Its helpful to have a group you can turn to when youre feeling alone and challenged by the pressures of living drug-free.

Your aftercare plan may include group therapy which is a great place to start. Find a few people from your group who youd like to spend time with while outside of treatment. Exchange numbers and reach out to one another when youre having a difficult time outside of group hours.

How Do The Best Treatment Programs Help Patients Recover From Addiction

How Do Addicts Feel When They Relapse?

Stopping drug use is just one part of a long and complex recovery process. When people enter treatment, addiction has often caused serious consequences in their lives, possibly disrupting their health and how they function in their family lives, at work, and in the community.

Because addiction can affect so many aspects of a person’s life, treatment should address the needs of the whole person to be successful. Counselors may select from a menu of services that meet the specific medical, mental, social, occupational, family, and legal needs of their patients to help in their recovery.

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Warning Signs Of Relapse: Depression Stress And Other Triggers

Individuals recovering from any kind of addiction often experience at least one relapse, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse . Relapse can be especially dangerous for someone who has abstained from drug use for a long time. Those who have been in recovery for a lengthy amount of time will lose their tolerance for the drug of abuse, and taking the amount they were accustomed to consuming during the height of their abuse could result in overdose and even death.

Addiction is a chronic disease, making relapse a possibility no matter how long a person has abstained from substance abuse. Once relapse occurs, it can be difficult for an individual to get back on the road to recovery. They will likely feel the strong desire to continue to use once they do even one time. As a result, getting someone back into treatment as quickly as possible following relapse is crucial to their long-term health and recovery.

What Causes A Relapse

Understanding the triggers for relapse can help you prepare for them and help your loved one get back on the road to recovery. Triggers may include:

  • Stress: Stress is a common cause of relapse. Your loved one may use their addiction as an unhealthy way to deal with stressful situations.
  • Negative thoughts or emotions: Negative feelings can trigger a relapse because your loved one may revert to substance misuse as a means of escaping them. Emotions such as guilt, self-doubt, anger, disappointment, and boredom can arise daily and can be a challenge to recovery.
  • People and places: People and places, and even things can relapse to substance use. For example, if your loved one’s addiction is alcohol, certain drinking buddies, bars or activities can trigger a relapse.
  • Unrealistic expectations: Unrealistic expectations are another common trigger for relapse. Some days are going to be harder than others for your loved one and unrealistic expectations lead to disappointment. Recovery is an ongoing process that they are learning to manage. It can be difficult for them to remain patient and take their recovery one step at a time.

Read Also: How To Handle An Addict In Denial

It Is Not Your Battle But You Are A Key Player

You cannot control or fix an addict. You cant force someone to get sober. However, you are a vital part of their support network and there are things you can do to help them:

  • Encourage and love them Their addiction may leave them feeling shameful and hopeless, which is a recipe for escaping back to drugs.
  • Boost their willpower Addiction can feel like an endless loop that the addict just cant break out of. You can be part of their reason to quit. They have done it before. They can do it again.
  • Set a good example Make sure you dont have alcohol or other drugs in the house, and dont drink alcohol in their presence.
  • Keep them healthy Go to the gym together or just for a run. Exercising is a natural way to stimulate the production of endorphins the brains natural feel good chemicals. Also, make sure theyre eating nutritious food. A proper diet is vital to the healing process.

What You Can Do To Help The Addict

8 stages of addict relapse and what to do

Do remember that this is the addicts battle. Thinking this way will help you cope with the situation: To truly get well, they need to do it on their own.

Do stand firm. Hold addicts accountable for their recovery from the relapse, just as it was important to hold them accountable for their addiction in the first place, says Ray Isackila, assistant clinical and administrative director of addiction recovery services at University Hospitals in Cleveland.

Do encourage your loved one. Just redirect them to their original addiction treatment plan, says Russell Goodwin, a chemical dependency counselor with Impact Solutions in Cleveland. This may include suggesting they talk to their counselor or sponsor, or that they go to an addiction support group meeting.

Do take care of yourself. Thats the best way to help an addict who has relapsed. Eat well, get enough sleep, be sure to exercise, and keep doing the things you like, such as hobbies, sports, or crafts whatever it is that you enjoy.

Do set an example for healthy living. If youre on your way to the gym, you can invite your loved one to join you,” suggests Goodwin. “Letting them know that you would enjoy their company is very supportive. Just remember that you cant force them to accept the invitation.

You dont have to stand idly by: You can offer support in your own ways without letting yourself be pulled down by the situation.

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Warning Signs You Are Heading For A Relapse

Sticking with a good rehab program can be difficult, but without a recovery plan, relapse is likely to happen. Relapse seems to occur without warning, but if you know what to watch for, you can predict an impending relapse from your addiction recovery program. Its highly important for an addict in the recovery process to be aware of these warning signs of drug relapse.

Here are a few warning signs that you are heading for a drug relapse:

  • You dont do the things that keep you sober This is most commonly seen among the drug or alcohol addicts who have been in recovery for a while. They stop doing things that help them maintain their abstinence. They avoid 12-step meetings during their recovery procedure and start making excuses for not working their program any more. Even the recovering alcoholic can suddenly stop processing treatment as they dont find it comfortable. They may also stop following their doctors instructions regarding treatment of an underlying mental disorder.
  • You suddenly become moody and selfish Part of addiction recovery is working to change your behavior and your attitude. Recovering addicts can become overly emotional, taking things personally and thinking people are trying to hurt them. You may lose your ability to tolerate any emotional pain, become stubborn and nagging or get irritated and combative easily. If you notice these behavioral changes in yourself, then its a strong sign of impending relapse.

People Or Places Connected To The Addictive Behavior

People who participated in your addictive behavior are potential triggers for a relapse, regardless of whether or not they are still drinking, smoking, or using drugs. Likewise, certain places that remind you of your addiction can be triggering for you. Even your family members could be a trigger, especially if they make you feel more child-like and vulnerable.

When you’re reminded of your addiction, it’s important to have effective ways of handling your feelings. For instance, if you’re an alcoholic and a group of drinking buddies ask you to go out, or you see people from work going to happy hour, it might help to have a specific response ready.

It also may help to have a healthy activity that you can do instead like going for a run, seeing a movie, having dinner with a sponsor, or reading a good book.

If you don’t prepare for these situations ahead of time, you are vulnerable to relapse. Try brainstorming ideas or work with your counselor or therapist to come up with a plan.

Recommended Reading: How To Get An Addict To Stop

Do You Know What To Do When Someone Relapses

When you suspect that a loved one has returned to old, self-destructive behaviors, do not start by beating them up over it. They have enough sorrow, guilt, and remorse as it is without you adding to it. Making things more difficult is not going to get them to listen and do what you want them to do. More likely, you are going to push them away and back to using drugs.

If you want to know what to do if someone relapses, think about how you deal with impossible situations where you felt trapped with no way out. Do you also have your coping mechanisms? There is nothing different about a person who has relapsed. They have simply found a way to cope with highly stressful situations where they see no other solution.

Unfortunately, addiction to drugs is physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually damaging to the individual. It takes a long time to heal from active addiction.

To Help Prevent Future Relapses Help To Remove Triggers From The Environment

Why Do Drug Addicts Relapse?

What are triggers? A trigger is something that sparks thoughts in a persons head that can start them obsessing over drugs again.

We already discussed some triggers here. Having alcohol and drugs in the house are definite triggers. Nothing causes thoughts of relapse, like seeing your drug of choice right in front of you.

If you are recovering from addiction, it almost seems like people around you are permitting you to relapse by giving you easy access to drugs and alcohol.

There are many other examples of triggers. A particular street or neighborhood could be a trigger. If your loved one who is recovering from addiction used to buy or use drugs in that neighborhood, it is good to steer clear of it.

Another person could also be a trigger. A past significant other or a person who provided drugs are examples of people triggers.

When it comes to helping your loved one to avoid these triggers, dont expect them to just put up with them. Will power can only go so far. Long-term, the best chance of success will depend on placing barriers between your loved one and triggers that lead them to relapse.

Recommended Reading: How To Know If Someone Is Addicted To Drugs

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