Preventing a Drug Relapse

Drug or alcohol addiction is hard to overcome. Recovery is hard and has many ups and downs. When family members are aware of the warning signs about relapses, they can take steps to help prevent it. If you have a family member that is a recovering addict, here are 4 signs to watch for. They indicate that the addict is heading for a relapse.

1. When a person stops associating with “clean” friends and family members, this is a big warning sign. He is feeling uncomfortable around non-addicts and so may withdraw from other. He isolates himself and refuses to go out or socialize with others.

2. Sometimes a recovering addict may decide that participating in a recovery program is important. He stops going to therapy or group sessions. His once hopeful attitude changes to one of negativism and hopelessness. He may often say, ‘What’s the use?’

3. When an addict is in a residential treatment facility, he leads a sheltered existence with almost no external stress. When he leaves the facility, he encounters the stress of everyday living. If a recovering addict has a difficult time handling stress, he is on the downslide to a relapse – especially if he has exaggerated mood swings.

4. If the person denies that stress is getting to him, a relapse is in the makings. He will try to convince everybody that he can handle the stress in his life. He will insist that everything is okay. But behind this denial, he is afraid and overwhelmed. Denying these feelings is similar to the drug user’s denial of addiction.

If someone in your family is trying to overcome drugs and you see some of these signs, talk to him. Encourage him to seek counseling, top get additional treatment and help so that a relapse can be prevented.