When it comes to having a long-lasting recovery, getting treatment at an alcohol or drug treatment center is just one step of the journey. In reality, there are many components of recovery in much the same way as there are many pieces to a puzzle. After getting out of rehab, an individual must become accountable for his or her sobriety, ensuring that he or she doesn’t relapse back to substance abuse by implementing an effective recovery plan that utilizes useful resources for those who’ve gotten sober. This can mean participating in aftercare therapy, counseling, twelve-step groups, and a variety of other things. But even so, remaining sober after rehab is much easier said than done.
After a period of time after rehab, it’s not uncommon for people to begin feeling tempted to revert back to their prior substance abuse. Fortunately, there are a number of signs that an individual could have either begun using again or is at risk of using again. The following are seven signs of a relapse that is impending.
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No Longer Participating in Forms of Continued Recovery
Recovery is an ongoing way of life, not a task that gets checked off a person’s to-do list. This is one mistake that people make when they’ve overcome an addiction; they become complacent and stop participating in their recovery as much as they had before, leaving them vulnerable to using again. Additionally, this can be a major sign that a person is considering returning to substance abuse. If that’s not the case, not participating in one’s recovery puts a person at significantly greater risk in the event that he or she would be confronted with one of his or her triggers.
Romanticizing Past Substance Abuse
After overcoming an addiction, many people look back on their period of prior substance abuse and mainly see all the mistakes that they made and all the ways that they brought unnecessary hardships on themselves. This causes them to feel a sense of relief once they’ve become acclimated to recovery, feeling like they’ve freed themselves from a major burden. However, when a recovering addict begins to romanticize or glorify prior substance abuse, there’s a strong chance that he or she is thinking fondly of actual alcohol or drug abuse. In this situation, there’s immense danger that the individual has either already started using again or could potentially start using again.
One Last Time is a Relapse
One of the most common fallacies of thought in recovery is when people begin thinking that they would be able to use one last time without losing control. At this point, an individual has clearly begun to think in much the same way that he or she thought at the very earliest stages of substance abuse. The misconception is that abusing alcohol or drugs can be a casual endeavor, something that the individual can enjoy occasionally without losing control and becoming fully addicted. This kind of thinking in which the individual believes he or she could use just “one last time” is incredibly dangerous and makes a person incredibly likely to relapse to active substance abuse.
Relapse is One Bad Decision Away
After getting out of rehab, one of the most important things a person needs to do is essentially do an overhaul of their life. This means severing ties with any friends or relations that are still abusing alcohol or drugs, staying away from places that one might associate with prior substance abuse, and so on. This is an incredibly important part of preparing for long-lasting recovery because the individual is removing things from his or her life that could pose a very direct threat to his or her sobriety. But when a recovering addict begins returning to this places and/or rekindling relationships with current substance abusers, there’s an increasing likelihood that he or she may eventually rekindle old habits as well.
Becoming Distant From Support Network
A support network is widely believed to be one of the most essential components of a successful, long-lasting recovery plan. By definition, a support network consists of all the people — family members, spouses, parents, siblings, close friends, colleagues, and so on that are aware of the individual’s history of substance abuse, the status of his or her recovery, and are actively supporting or encouraging the individual as he or she continues to remain sober. When a recovering addict begins keeping a distance from the people in his or her support network, there’s clearly going to be some sort of underlying reason for keeping those people at bay. In many cases, this could mean that the recovering addict is aware of his or her changes in behavior or lifestyle and doesn’t want his or her support network to become aware of them, too.
More Easily Stressed or Overcome by Emotions
There are many reasons why people resort to substance abuse, but one of the most common is as a means of coping with stress or emotions. Additionally, the use of alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism is one of the most difficult aspects of an addiction to overcome. When the person can learn more effective alternatives, there’s a great chance he or she can remain sober. But when he or she is exhibiting high levels of stress and frequent overwhelming emotion, there’s a strong possibility that he or she could resort to self-destructive coping methods. Those behaviors are one of the more obvious signs of a relapse.
Exhibits Relapse Behaviors
Like many of these other signs of relapse, when recovering addicts begin exhibiting behaviors for which they were known during active addiction, there’s an increased likelihood that they’ve either returned to their former substance abuse or are at risk of doing so. This can include being emotionally distant, flaking on prior obligations and responsibilities, and other such behaviors. If there doesn’t seem to be an obvious reason for why these behaviors have returned, the obvious explanation would be that there’s been a return to active substance abuse.
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If you notice any of these signs of a relapse in your loved one, call FindAddictionRehabs.com toll-free at 877-723-7117. Whether it’s day or night, we’re always available to help you or your loved one begin the path to lasting recovery.