Addictions are incredibly difficult to recover from, since it is always possible for someone to slip back into their old habits. Relapses are very common, and you will likely experience at least one during your struggle. What usually causes them?
- Extreme stress and difficulties in life can feel overwhelming. In these situations, doing drugs or drinking alcohol may seem like an attractive escape.
- Getting exposed to their old environment and friends can be disastrous. Since these people and places are associated with their addiction, they will be strongly tempted.
- They remove the healthy elements in their life that have helped keep their addiction at bay, such as support groups or daily exercise.
Once you have finished your rehabilitation, it is important to stay vigilant. Anyone can relapse, even after the most successful of drug rehabilitation programs, according to RenaissanceOutpatient.com.
Watch Out for the Warning Signs
A relapse usually doesn’t just happen. There are plenty of warning signs, though the recovering addict may not have the impartiality to see it in themselves.
- Attitude – One clear sign of an impending relapse is a change in your attitude. Are you starting to be as selfish, irritable or moody as you were before quitting? This is a dangerous symptom, and you need to work hard at correcting your behavior.
- Rationalization – You may begin thinking that there’s nothing wrong with just one drink, since you have already beaten the addiction. But, a moment of weakness will almost always end up in a full relapse. It might take some time, but you’ll eventually lose all progress.
- Defensiveness – Have people expressed concern about your recent behavior? Friends and family can often tell when a person is gradually regressing. Rather than being defensive, try to take their advice into account.
Never underestimate the threat of a relapse, no matter how good you might feel about your progress so far. Stay diligent, and if you ever slip up, seek help immediately before the damage gets any worse.