Drug and alcohol addiction consumes every aspect of the addict’s life, including relationships and career. The good news is that there is treatment available, but the bad news is that addiction is a lifelong struggle. There is no magic potion to make addiction vanish nor is there a way to predict whether or not someone will become addicted again. Relapse is when a former addict reverts back to his or her old life of drinking or drugs. There are several relapse triggers, or any stimuli or life event that causes someone to relapse, to look for if you suspect your loved one has gone back to his or her old ways.
There are a variety of groups out there that target addiction such as Narcotics Anonymous, and Alcoholics Anonymous. The purpose of these groups is to educate its members on drugs and alcohol, provide support to members in a caring environment, and provide a sponsor that acts as a lifeline in case of a relapse. When you notice that your loved one has stopped attending or has lost interest in these meetings, you can almost guarantee that he or she is in danger of relapsing. Find a place where you two can talk about the sudden change in behavior and ask what you can do to help.
Whether your loved one is suffering from alcohol or drugs, addiction is a lifestyle. People who begin to abuse substances usually adopt an entirely new way of life, from the friends they hang out with to new hangout spots even right down to the type of clothes they wear. Although your loved one might have dropped those old acquaintances like a bad habit, they might still have his or her number. All it takes is one phone call and a little persuasion to trap your loved one back into that dark world of addiction again.
Job stress can be a catalyst for addiction relapse. Signs of stress can include fatigue and sudden outbursts of anger at little things. Is your loved one overworked or complain about work a lot? Many people drink or do drugs as a way to escape from life’s daily problems. If your loved one can not use an appropriate coping skill, or anything positive used to deal with a problem, then he or she is likely to relapse. The best thing you can do is to encourage him or her to do more positive activities like take a walk in the park or join a social club on days off.
Withdrawing from friends and family can trigger someone to relapse also. After recovery, family and friends play a major role in sustaining a life of sobriety. They act as a support network that may be just as important as any sponsor, as they are the ones that have stuck with the addict through the hard times. Therefore, they have the most understanding and empathy for their loved one suffering from addiction. Once that network is dropped and he or she does not feel that connection, it will be easier to pick up that bottle or syringe again. Some signs of withdrawal include loss of socialization or interest in social activities, sudden introversion, and becoming defensive when asked personal questions.
In summary, the recovery process is a lifelong battle. There is no universal remedy for curing addiction. Ultimately, everyone is responsible for winning their own battle over addiction, but they don’t have to fight it alone. If you notice these relapse triggers, you can play a role in helping your loved one stay sober by picking up the phone and calling us. We are a prestigious drug and alcohol rehab center in Arizona that can help your loved one get back on track again in life.