Whether you are a recovering addict or someone who cares about someone in recovery, you can help can prevent a fall back into the trap of addiction by recognizing the warning signs of relapse. Getting clean and breaking free from addiction is hard work, but the benefits are certainly worth the effort. Staying clean can be hard too, especially at first. A good rehab program will give you powerful tools to keep yourself on the right path. You’ll learn to hear your thoughts, investigate them critically, and take action based on clear, healthy thinking.
Learning to be more self-aware will help you realize when the freedom you have worked so hard for is at risk. You’ll know how to recognize situations that can trigger a relapse. Here are seven signs of relapse into addiction that you can keep in mind. This will help you know when you need to work extra hard and reach out for help. If you are a Seasons Bali drug and alcohol addiction rehab program client, you can sign up for our remote E-therapy program. That way, you know you’ll always have someone who understands your unique situation to talk to when you feel at risk of relapse.
Signs of Relapse: Giving Up On The Work
Sometimes we get ahead of ourselves. Addiction recovery is work. To have the best chance of staying clean, you need to commit to doing the work, every day. The good news is you only have to do it one day at a time, and it gets easier and easier. But it is never done. So when someone just out of rehab gets over-confident, that can put them in a risky position. Recovering addict should join a support group and attend regularly. Sticking with a routine for each day can reduce temptation and help stay focused on healthy choices. Following up with therapy can help respond to stressful situations. If you or someone you care about thinks they don’t need to do the work anymore, talk to them and encourage them to keep at it. It is important and very much worth the effort.
Social withdrawal may be a warning sign of relapse
We all need time alone sometimes. But if an addict makes a general retreat from social contact, this can create a very real risk of relapse. Addiction is fueled by isolation and alienation. Connection is the antidote. Addicts should stay engaged in healthy relationships. If you notice someone withdrawing, offer to listen without judgment and help. Shame about addiction drives withdrawal, so be careful not to shame yourself or others. Addiction is a disease, not a moral failure. Reach out!
The best recovery programs teach methods like cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness training, and cultivating gratitude to help addicts deal with emotions. Addiction is often a response to out of control emotions. Engaging in the addictive behavior has a numbing effect, pushing emotional problems aside instead of fixing them. We all face emotional challenges at times, and that’s fine when we are able to use our tools to handle them. But when someone in recovery is overwhelmed by their emotions, it is time to get extra help.
Caution: Fond memories of bad habits are a warning sign.
Nostalgia For The Bad Old Days
Once we have had time to put some distance between the suffering and harm of addiction, we may sometimes look back fondly on “wild adventures” and “crazy parties” with so-called friends. If you find yourself (or observe someone else) thinking fondly of episodes when you gave into addiction, wake up! Remember the truth. Remember why you decided to get clean. Don’t forget what addiction has cost you. And, as always, when you see a warning sign of relapse, reach out for help, talk about it, and keep doing the work. You can do it, and you deserve the good life you are making for yourself. Stay the course!
Hanging Out With Enablers
The flip side of avoiding isolation is avoiding connection with people who are going to lead you astray. Most addicts have a circle of old “friends” who perhaps sincerely care for them in some way. But the “tools” these friends have for caring can more accurately be regarded as weapons. Recovering addicts should commit to avoiding people that will enable them if they start to backslide toward addiction.
Jumping Into Intimacy Too Soon
Intimate sexual and emotional relationships are a healthy part of a normal life. But the early days of recovery are not normal life, more like a high wire act. Intimate relationships can be very emotionally stressful and destabilizing. Stay balanced and keep on keeping on with that natural high. There will time for a love relationship later. Get yourself stabilized. If you think you are ready, seek a second opinion from your support group before you act.
Are you thinking of hearing things like this? “But I am not doing that!” “It’s none of your business!” “I am doing the work! Why are you criticizing me?” Addicts get very defensive about their addiction. Responding to suggestions and criticism calmly with an open mind is healthy. Retreating immediately into combative denial is not healthy. If you see this happening, consider it a warning sign of increased risk of relapse into addiction. That means it’s time to reach out and get help.
Learn More About Our Addiction Recovery Program
Seasons Bali offers support for people struggling with addiction. Maybe you have already paused your addiction. But do you have the tools to stay quit? You are here reading this, so it is probably time for you or someone you care about to take the first step towards a much better life. It takes work but you can leave the unfulfilling cycle and the suffering behind.
If someone you care about has a problem with alcohol (or any other form of addiction) talk to someone who understands. We are here to help. Call one of our experts today at (toll-free Australia) 1800 288 348 +61 398045757 or email us at [email protected] and we will call you.