Relapse is a scary word for a recovering addict, but what’s even more overwhelming is the very real possibility of relapsing over and over again, or even after some time spent in recovery. When you are in the midst of the worst of your addiction, and finally have the ability to come out of it, you may immediately be inclined to stick with your sobriety, vowing to yourself that you will stay away from your drugs. But as you gain a little bit or even a decent amount of clean time, the depth of how much pain you felt in your experience can fade. With studies giving all kinds of percentages of how many addicts will relapse eventually, it is realized that there is no guarantee as to who will end up relapsing and who won’t, but the best way to avoid returning to your addiction is to know the signs of a relapse and focus on making recovery your number one priority.
Why do addicts that have been in recovery for a while, relapse after time? This is a question that is asked by all – from the newcomer to the scientists who lack a proper explanation as to why any one particular addict relapses versus another who does not. That is part of the complexity of the disease of addiction.
Relapse Warning Signs: What Is A Relapse
It is proven by science that chemicals in the brain play an essential role. Even if an addict has been clean for multiple years, they may still display and experience symptoms of depression, anxiety, and insomnia, all of which may contribute to relapse warning signs and picking back up after time. When these seemingly unmanageable distresses flare up, and the addict fails to utilize the necessary tools that keep them clean in their recovery, they may resort back to their drugs, falsely thinking this to be the solution. To prevent this, the addict needs to be educated on new ways to cope with their feelings of anxiety, look at alternatives to help them get the proper amount of sleep, and see if they are nourished well enough to combat any post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) or mental cravings that definitely have potential to cause a relapse after time. The good news is that professionals claim that “the brain can heal.” You just have to remember that your recovery is not a cure, but instead a means of treatment for a disease that needs to be managed on a daily basis so you can prevent relapse warning signs from showing up.
Reasons for Relapsing
Be aware, though, that it is a common misconception that an addict will only show relapse warning signs and actually relapse when feeling negative. An addict can be triggered to relapse in response to feeling good about an event, like moving to a new home, winning the lottery, or even getting engaged. This could definitely be a reason for an addict to be caught off guard with an unintentional relapse after time. If you think about it, it makes sense. You may feel happy because of external factors, which inclines you to celebrate with your drug of choice. You probably aren’t even fully aware that your disease is skulking in the background, persuading you to relapse, as you are already intoxicated with the seductive lie that you can feel even better or that your use of the drug is justifiable because you’re using it to rejoice.
Despite having years of clean time, it is important to remember that the disease does not go away, and that relapsing after time is unfortunately possible for those who do not know what the relapse warning signs are. Awareness, accountability, and willingness are key factors that will aid you in your recovery. Relapsing after time is 100% preventable if we follow certain precautions and tell on our potentially fatal burning desires.
Want to know more about relapse warning signs? Click here: signs of relapseTags: relapse, Relapse Prevention, Relapse Warning Signs