Relapse prevention is important to staying sober. Knowing what relapse mode is and what the signs and behaviors of it are can help one determine if you or someone know might be headed towards a relapse. Also knowing what to do when someone is in relapse mode can help the person get the help they need. Knowing simply how to prevent a relapse is important for any recovering addict. Finally, the signs of stress and the signs of a relapse can sometimes be similar and knowing the difference between them can help one to help someone else.
Here is a list of the ten signs or behaviors that might indicate that someone may be in relapse mode.
- Depression: They are feeling down and don’t have much energy. They might also have thoughts of suicide.
- Problems Blow Up: Ordinary problems that occur daily become so overwhelming that no matter how hard they try, these basic problems can’t be solved.
- Avoiding and Defensive Behavior: They begin to avoid the activities they once enjoyed and may become irritable without reason.
- Denial: They stop communicating and convince people that everything is alright when it really isn’t.
- Post-Acute Withdrawal: They may have trouble with memory, emotional overreactions, and sleeping problems, become accident prone, or overwhelmed by stress.
- Lose Control with Compulsive or Impulsive Behaviors: Food, sex, caffeine, nicotine, work, gambling, or other activities become out of control and they react without thinking about the consequences.
- Feeling of Immobilization: The feel trapped, that there is no way to solve their problems.
- Urges and Cravings: They think that using drugs or alcohol is the only way to feel better and begin to justify that it is the logical thing to do.
- Chemical Loss of Control: They have begun using drugs or alcohol again to solve problems when the problems are only getting worse.
- Loss of Communication: They stop attending their NA or AA meetings, or stop communicating with their sponsor or loved ones.
Any one or combination of these symptoms could mean that someone is headed towards a relapse if they have not relapsed already. Helping someone that is in relapse mode may be difficult. Getting them to go into an addiction treatment center again is the best way to help them so that they can get back on the road to recovery.
Relapse prevention is one of the most important things for achieving long-term recovery. There are a few things that someone can do to prevent themselves from relapsing. The initial addiction treatment portion of the recovery process will help the recovering addict to recognize the triggers that caused their addiction. Avoiding those triggers is the best way to avoid relapse. Next, finding positive support usually in someone who is also recovering and staying sober can help keep life positive and increase self-esteem. Also, setting positive life goals like going to college or saving money to buy a car and aiming to achieve them will keep the recovering addict on the right track. Other things one can do for relapse prevention include trying new things and always have an escape plan if there is a situation that is not a good place for a recovering addict.
Staying sober is hard but employing some relapse prevention ideas can help keep someone sober and on the right track. If the relapse prevention fails, find help through an addiction treatment center as soon as possible.