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What Are the Warning Signs of Relapse for Drug Users?

people talking about warning signs of relapse

A substantial number of people who go into a drug center program in Texas will relapse back into active substance use at least once before they establish lasting sobriety. A drug abuse relapse does not generally appear out of the blue. In fact, several emotional and psychological warning signs typically appear before actual substance intake begins again. The Right Step is here to help you understand more about the warning signs for relapse. Our treatment and programs help give you the tools and resources you need to overcome relapse when it happens so you can continue to live a sober life.

Understanding Drug Relapses

The onset of addiction is a gradual process triggered by long-term changes in the normal function of your brain. Not surprisingly, these changes do not simply go away when you participate in a Texas addiction treatment center. Instead, a treatment program aims to help you establish initial sobriety and develop the mental, emotional, and behavioral tools needed to remain sober after your program participation ends. Unfortunately, several factors can offset the effectiveness of these new tools and drastically increase the odds that a return to active drug intake will occur. Examples of these factors include:

  • Everyday stress
  • Encounters with specific drug-using cues (e.g., people, places or things associated with drug consumption in the past), and
  • Erratic use of the coping skills learned during treatment

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) notes that, depending on the specific substance, roughly 40% to 60% of all people affected by drug addiction will experience a relapse after first achieving sobriety. Even though relapse is common, this should not discourage you from seeking treatment. In treatment, we will teach you how to overcome relapse when it happens so you can continue on your path to sobriety. Do not let the fear of relapse keep you from achieving your goals. It is possible to overcome your addiction, as evidence by the testimonials from our alumni program.

Emotional Warning Signs

In a 2015 study published in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, Canadian researchers examined the sequence of the warning signs that point toward an impending drug abuse relapse. These researchers concluded that the first signs to appear are emotional and occur before a sober addict gives any conscious thought to abandoning sobriety. Examples of possible warnings include:

  • A failure to express emotions
  • Failure to attend at least some of the scheduled meetings of a post-sobriety self-help group
  • Failure to actively participate in a self-help group meeting
  • Increasing social isolation
  • A tendency to emphasize other people’s problems over your own
  • Failure to maintain a healthy diet or stick to a regular sleeping routine

If you or a loved one is experiencing these warning signs of relapse, contact The Right Step. We are here to help you in every step of your recovery journey and can help you get back on track with your sobriety.

Psychological Warning Signs

The next warning signs of an impending relapse are mental and appear when a recovering addict consciously considers using again. They may include:

  • The presence of active drug cravings
  • Active reminiscing about past episodes of drug use
  • The glamorization of past episodes of drug use
  • An increase in lying and/or social bargaining behaviors
  • Active plotting of ways to use drugs without getting out of control “this time,” and
  • Active plotting of an actual relapse and/or overt drug-seeking behavior

Typically, when these warnings appear, relapse is the next step unless there is some form of timely intervention.

Contact The Right Step

If you are experiencing the warning signs of relapse, do not hesitate to reach out to The Right Step at 17135283709. We are willing and able to help with programs such as our individual therapy program, our group therapy program, and other programs that may work for you.

Sources: “Drugs, Brains and Behavior–The Science of Addiction–Treatment and Recovery” – National Institute on Drug Abuse          https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery” – Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4553654/

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