What Are Warning Signs of an Addiction Relapse?
What is a Relapse?
Relapse is an unfortunate part of addiction. When a person in recovery returns to using drugs or alcohol, this is called a relapse. Addiction is a powerful disease that affects both the mind and body. Unfortunately relapse is part of addiction and occurs more often than not.
Although relapse is part of addiction, there are warning signs associated with relapse. If you are concerned about yourself for a loved one it is important to recognize these sigs. What are warning signs of an addiction relapse?
Romanticizing Past Drug and Alcohol Use
It may be easier for an addict to look back on the fun times they had during their active using but no one makes the decision to get sober because they are having fun. Most addicts make the decision to get sober due to negative consequences associated with their drinking and using. While it is important for the addict to not obsess about the past, it is equally as important to remember the destruction addiction caused. A major warning sign of an addiction relapse is when the addict is romanticizing past drug and alcohol use with little regard to the negative aspects of their addiction.
Belief That You Can Use Drugs and Alcohol Recreationally
Addiction is the only the disease that will tell the individual they do not have a disease. The belief that an addict can drink and use drugs recreationally is false. Every addict at one point in their life has tried to control their drinking or using. The reason they chose to get sober was because they were unable to do so. When an addict begins to believe that they can use drugs and alcohol normally, this is a sign that they may be heading down a path towards relapse. This false belief often consumes addicts. That is why it is important for addicts to have a strong support system in recovery, people who can remind them of the destruction their addiction has and will cause.
Association with Old Friends From Addiction Days
Recovery from addiction is all about change. Addicts must change their thinking, their behavior and this often includes relationships. In order to ensure long-term recovery, it is suggested that addicts refrain from associating with friends who remain active in the addiction. While it may be difficult to close the door on past relationships, the alternative could lead to severe consequences. If you or someone you know Is reaching out to old friends who remain active in their addiction, this may be a sign of an impending relapse. When an addict places himself or herself in an unhealthy environment, the temptation to use may be too great to ignore. Recovery is about establishing healthy relationships.
Changes in Attitude or Behavior
A significant change in attitude or behavior may be a sign of an impending relapse. If you or someone you know is showing little interest in recovery related programs or showing signs of irritability or depression, this may be a warning sign. Often addicts begin to dismiss the positive aspects of recovery programs prior to making the decision to relapse. Dishonesty, defensiveness, refusal to accept help and isolating behavior are all symptoms of an impending relapse. A sober network of support is crucial in recovery. Strained personal relationships may be a sign of an impending relapse.
Relapse is Not a Sign of Failure
Relapse is an unfortunate part of addiction. Most addicts have experienced one or more relapses. Relapse is not a sign of failure. It serves as an example of the power addiction has. The harsh reality of relapses is that many addicts never get another opportunity to get sober. Recovery is a gift and a lifelong process.
Concerned About Yourself or a Loved One?
If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one’s sobriety, it is important you are able to identify warning signs of a possible relapse. Relapse is a part of addiction but there are ways in which one can avoid addiction relapse and achieve long-term recovery. If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one with substance abuse issues, it is imperative that you seek help immediately. If you wish to learn more about our outpatient programs, drug counseling in general or about the disease of addiction, please do not hesitate to call us at (877)799-1985 or simply click on the banner below to visit our contact page. We are waiting to hear from you!