Anyone who has been through addiction, whether it be personally or through a loved one, knows that addiction is a lifelong battle. Those people are probably also aware that relapse is a very real possibility. Relapse is not as single-faceted as people might think. There are actually three stages to relapse:
Not utilizing coping skills or practicing proper self-care.
Starting to consider using or drinking and becoming more susceptible to triggers.
Slipping up and using or drinking; not getting help could result in full-blown relapse.
It is important to remember that relapse does not equate to failure. It would do more harm than good to ignore the effect of triggers or signs of relapse and internalize the problem rather than to ask for help. Do your best to avoid triggers by knowing what those triggers are.
Some common triggers include exposure to drug use or drinking, stressful situations, and relationship issues. One trigger that some people tend to overlook is celebratory situations. Resisting joining in on the fun can be just as hard as resisting using or drinking after a particularly stressful day at work.
When triggers are ignored, there are signs pointing towards relapse that can be recognized by those around you.
Signs of Relapse
The National Institute of Drug Abuse estimates that 40-60 percent of those in recovery experience relapse. It is important to not look at that percentage range and get discouraged. If anything, a person going through recovery should look at it and get encouraged. Use that percentage and be on the opposite side through hard work and motivation.
Being proactive and developing tools such as a relapse prevention plan can help when warning signs of relapse come up. Information to include in such a plan is someone to call, somewhere to go, coping skills to use, and hotline numbers just in case. It is equally important to make sure that those closest to you know your plan as well for any emergency situations.
At The Duck House, all aspects of addiction and recovery are taken into account and addressed throughout treatment—helping those who are seeking treatment for the first time as well as those who have relapsed. One of the first steps to getting help is getting educated. Find out more about The Duck House by clicking here!