Substance Abuse Relapse and Its Subtle Signs

 Several states, including New Hampshire, are currently making headlines regarding their fight against runaway addiction to heroin. This drug is extremely dangerous and potent, but people are still finding its effects alluring as they fall prey to addictive behaviors. Addiction is both a mental and physical issue that requires a lifetime of willpower to overcome. Because addiction cannot be cured, recovering users must be diligent about their behaviors. Relapse or a return to old habits can occur very slowly, for example. Take a close look at the signs of relapse in order to help yourself or others with their fight against addiction.

Dwelling on the Past

When you’re recovering from substance abuse, it’s critical to look forward and look at your past as a learning situation. A relapse might be in the making when you perceive your drug use as a fantastic time period. You may recall traveling to Orange County, meeting up with friends and drinking all night long. If you’re yearning for those days to return, consider an immediate consultation with a mentor or health professional. Believing that those drug-use periods were fun and exciting means that you’d like to return to those situations.

Believing the Use is Controllable

Being addicted to a substance means that you cannot control yourself around it. Your two choices are either to abstain or become a user once again. Working through an Orange County, CA drug detox takes initiative and strength, and you’ve arrived at a comfortable recovery period where you’re distracted by other healthy pursuits. If you start to believe that you can have one drink or smoke, however, a relapse is possible. Your mind is trying to justify the substance’s use by convincing yourself that you can control it with just a little moderation. In most cases, one drink won’t be enough, and you’ll find yourself dealing with a substance-abuse problem again.

Extreme Mood Swings

It’s understandable for you to be emotional as you work through detox and recovery. A subtle sign of relapse is acute mood swings that are more devious in nature. You might be defensive, coy or short-tempered with your loved ones. Although you may not be using right now, your mind is dealing with the cravings while trying to fight them off. Those cravings may be overtaking your strength to stay sober. If you notice these mood swings, talk to someone close to you who can help you sift through those conflicting emotions.

Quitting the Program Outright

Twelve-step programs and other recovery processes have scientific success with millions of patients. When a relapse is boiling in the background, you might negatively respond to the program. Declaring that you’re done with recovery and moving forward may seem like a healthy step, but it’s actually a move backward. Throughout your entire life, you’ll need these support programs. Believing that you don’t need help anymore only means that a relapse may occur very soon.

Visiting Old Friends and Locations

One of the first rules during recovery is avoiding any people or locations that are associated with drug use. You might have a group of friends who smoked or drank all day long, for instance. When you relapse, you often seek familiar surroundings to start this habit again. Contacting those old friends and hanging out at tempting locations only makes your recovery more difficult. In fact, you might believe that you can abstain from drugs as you frequent these areas. It’s only when you start using again do you notice the relapse signs in hindsight.

Beginning a New Obsession

Many recovery programs encourage you to take on new hobbies as you learn to live a different life without drugs. However, be aware of hobbies that become compulsions. Excessive shopping, overeating and gambling are just a few obsessions that can quickly become new addictions. At some point, these obsessions don’t thrill you as they did before. In response, you might relapse into taking drugs again. Your mind and body are seeking a high that must be quenched. Recognizing compulsive behaviors before they grow out of control is difficult for recovering addicts, so a loved one may need to step in and point out the issue.

If you’re wondering how to recognize a relapse in yourself, it’s often helpful to speak to a professional. Spotlighting your behaviors and being honest with yourself might be too challenging at first. A professional can guide you through your thinking process and determine the best solution for your concerns. In the end, a healthy body and mind should be the goal as drugs are left behind.