As you begin this new year, you will encounter new challenges. Nearly everyone sets some sort of goal at the beginning of the year, even if they don’t call them “resolutions”. This year, your goal might be more of a mission. As a new year begins, a new chapter in your life unfolds. You might be on a mission to avoid substance abuse relapse in your life. If so, it’s important for you to gain the skills you need in order to avoid going back to a life of drug and alcohol dependence. Working to avoid relapse involves a lot of different things. Before you can learn how to avoid relapse, you will need to learn more about it and how to identify the early signs of relapse. Once you gain more understanding of what relapse looks like, you will be able to better use substance abuse relapse prevention skills.
Most likely, you’ve heard about substance abuse relapse. It’s a common subject when substance abuse treatment and recovery are involved. Unfortunately, relapse happens in a lot of people’s lives. But, with the right kind of help, you can successfully prevent it from happening in yours! How? Let’s talk a little bit about what relapse is and how it affects you. Then, we’ll discuss some of the common signs of relapse and how you can deal with them.
Some of the Signs of Relapse
It’s common to think that relapse is simply the use of drugs or alcohol after treatment. But, that’s not quite true. In fact, early relapse doesn’t have to involve substance use at all. Before a person physically relapses, he or she might experience what’s known as an emotional relapse. The individual may also go through a state of mental relapse. These stages don’t usually involve the physical use of alcohol or drugs. But, they do involve harmful and negative thinking patterns and mental processes. People within these stages often struggle emotionally. And, these are the signs of relapse that you may really need to look out for as you work your way through recovery. Some of the early signs of relapse include:
- Low self-esteem
- Lack of self-care
- Poor eating habits
- Avoidance of loved ones
- Thinking about using again
- Spending time with people who use
- Dishonesty with yourself and others
- Loss of interest in things you once cared about
- Sleep problems (disturbed sleep, insomnia, excessive sleep, etc.)
- Loss of interest in counseling, therapy, support group attendance
If you’ve noticed any of these things in your life, they could be some early signs of relapse. It’s important to seek help if you think you might be struggling in this area.
How Treatment Can Help You Avoid Relapse
Often, people who are going through treatment fear relapse. No doubt, you have heard stories about how other people have returned to unhealthy drug or alcohol use even after going through the entire treatment process. Sadly, many people have had that experience. However, this doesn’t have to be a part of your story at all. Drug and alcohol use don’t have to take over your life anymore. There’s no need to be afraid of relapsing. You can develop the skills you need in order to avoid substance dependence. Many times, people go through detox programs and find that they have successfully ended substance use. But, they may not realize that there is more to recovery than just detox. Therapy is also an important part of treatment. Without it, people might not gain the skills they need to identify and deal with the signs of relapse in their lives.
When therapy is included in your treatment, it allows you to do more than simply stop using drugs or alcohol. Group and individual therapy can help you to learn more about yourself and your journey to recovery. Therapy involves people in active and meaningful thought, bringing attention to the challenges and strengths of those who are in treatment. Contact us here at Diablo Valley Drug & Alcohol Services to learn more about how we can help!