Resentment and Relapse
If you are in recovery from drug addiction, relapse is something that can happen.
Trying to stop using drugs is difficult, and if you do slip up you may feel resentment and begin using again.
This is called a relapse.
It is normal and very common for recovering drug addicts.
You might be able to compare drug addiction to going on a diet.
It can be hard to change the way you live your life.
You need to eat less, workout more, and probably avoid some situations like all you can eat BBQ.
It can be easy to slip up and result in weight gain.
The same can be said about drug addiction and relapse.
All you need to do is take it one day at a time.
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What Are Triggers For Relapse?
Although there is never one specific reason that all addicts turn back to their addiction, there are a few common triggers that do occur.
Remember that every individual is different, but here are a few reasons that can be considered triggers for relapse:
- Seeing friends with whom they once used drugs.
- Returning to places that they once were high at.
- Watching media, such as movies and TV shows, that show characters using drugs.
- Hearing talk about drugs in a positive way or about using it.
- Going through stress or sadness, such as because of a death, job loss, or breakup.
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Relapse vs Slip
Although relapse is considered any form of use after being sober, there is something called a slip as well. Slips occur when someone in recovery uses a small amount of a substance, but they do not use it again after that. This might be having one beer with dinner, or one line of cocaine at a party.
Because this may seem as though it is more moderate use, it can actually trick you into thinking you do not have an addiction. This can be dangerous and can lead to a full relapse. If you begin to believe that you can use substances every so often, or you forget how often you have used them, you may end up back to a full-blown addiction and begin feeling cravings.
When someone is in full-blown drug addiction, full relapse can occur very easily. This occurs when you have lost control of your cravings for the drug, and are seeking to actively use the drug. If this occurs for you and you happen to go on a binge, or use drugs for a substantial amount of time, then you should return to treatment, or book yourself into treatment. If you do not, you run the risk of falling completely back into your addiction.
Dangers of Relapse
Although relapse is common, it can actually be very dangerous. Relapse can put you at risk for overdose with many drugs. This is because your body is used to taking drugs at one point, but when you remove those drugs for any amount of time, then you can easily overdose. This can happen even by taking the same dose that you previously took. When an overdose happens the drug can cause more serious symptoms and even death.
How You Can Help Someone You Love
There are some addicts who want to go to drug rehab. This is because they want to stop using drugs and regain all of the wonderful aspects of their lives. There are other people that are addicted and do not want to go to treatment.
If this is you or someone you love, it might be because the addiction has fully taken hold mentally. This can be difficult when an addict is not ready for help. Although you know they need it, they refuse, even after a relapse.
It is important never to force someone to go into treatment. If they are forced then they may not put in the work to make it successful, and eventually, relapse anyway. The best way to convince someone to go to treatment is to give them information.
- Offer treatment services and information.
- Be available to give rides to treatment and support groups
- Alcoholics Anonymous, known as AA, for people with alcohol addiction.
- Narcotics Anonymous, known as NA, for people with other drug addictions.
- Remind them to take medication from their doctor.
- Help them find a place to live, or give them a spare room in your home.
- Help them get a job.
- Offer to do activities that are not related to drug use.
- Help them avoid triggers such as places or people.
- Talk with them about their feelings.
- Be understanding if a relapse occurs, and help them get into treatment afterward.
Signs of Relapse
The signs of relapse and recurrent drug addiction are different for everyone. Despite this, if you can understand the signs for relapse, you may be able to catch it before it turns into a much bigger problem.
Signs of relapse may include:
- Not attending treatment.
- Making excuses to avoid support groups.
- Spending time with the same friends that they used drugs with, or with people that tend to make bad decisions.
- Talking about drug use in a positive way.
- Justifying the use of substances casually.
- Symptoms of mental health issues
If you or someone you love is in recovery and you can see a struggle with sobriety, it is important to speak up. Talk about how you notice the red flags, and that you are there for them. For family members, you can schedule family counseling together in order to have a mediator.
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Relapse is Not a Sign of Failure
In the recovery and addiction community, relapse is a well known and recognized circumstance. Despite this, many people in sobriety, or those who are in the throes of addiction, may feel like a failure if they have relapsed.
This feeling of failure can push you to abandon your effort of becoming sober. When this happens it can completely destroy any and all efforts to get healthy again.
It is incredibly important that anyone who is attempting to get sober understands that relapse is a part of recovery. It happens often and is not a sign of weakness. If you can understand that it is a part of the recovery process, then you will be more successful than those who do not.
Relapse and Mental Illness
For those who suffer from both mental illness along with a substance use disorder, there are many connections between the two. About half of all people who have mental health issues in their life will also suffer from a substance use disorder. When these disorders occur at the same time it is called a dual diagnosis.
The connection between relapse and mental illnesses is simple, not only are you having to take care of your mental health, but you have to ensure that that is not the reason for your relapse. This can be difficult because often those with a mental illness choose to use drugs to cope with symptoms. This form of self-medication is nothing but hurtful and needs to be monitored closely in the case of dual diagnosis.
Going to Treatment After Relapse
There are many forms of treatment available after relapse. Often you may choose to go to a more intensive program than you did previously if you have even been to treatment at all. All you need to do in order to go to treatment after relapse is hold back your ego, and understand that you need help. Let go of your preconceived notions and be honest with yourself as well as the treatment center. Admitting you have relapsed is the first step to preventing another one.
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It is Time To Get Healthy
If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction, or have fallen into relapse, it is time to get help today.
Contact us at Resurgence Behavioral Health to learn about our free insurance verification for treatment and treatment options for those who have relapsed.