Relapse is one of the common challenges people who want to stop their drug addiction habit. Wanting to stop drug addiction takes time, patience, and practice. Often than not, people who have undergone drug rehabilitation slide back and go back to their drug addiction. Relapse though does not mean that the rehabilitation failed or that their stint did not work. Relapse is sure to happen when the same triggers of addiction re-appear.
Relapse does not happen automatically and people who want to stop addiction should understand that prior to relapse, they undergo several stages. There are three (3) stages of drug relapse, namely:
The hardest struggle in terms of relapse is the emotional stage or state. Here are symptoms and signs of a possible emotional relapse.
The practice of self-care is one of the best ways of avoiding the symptoms of an emotional relapse. You should bear in mind that you resorted to drugs to escape, relax, or reward yourself and thus, not taking care of yourself may lead you to go back into such addiction. When you have, poor sleeping habits or poor eating habits, chances of you feeling exhausted would be greater and once you feel exhausted, you might feel the urge of going back into drug use again because you would turn to the mentality that using drugs allows you to escape from exhaustion.
When you continue to hold on to your resentments and fears, these will start to build to a point where you feel uncomfortable, and when you continue to allow these emotions to grow, you start to isolate yourself. You start to have that feeling of being uncomfortable and that you would again try to find a way to release yourself from this feeling.
Changing your friends would also help you avoid going into a relapse. If after your rehabilitation, you would keep on hanging with the same people that influenced you to try and use drugs, then it would just be a vicious cycle and you would end up going back to the addiction. It often helps being in the company of people who live active lives, engages into sports, and other activities in order to shun away from stress, and other emotional factors that may lead you to relapse.
Have an active life and try to engage yourself in different sports activities. What people often don’t know is that having an active life and engaging into sports are ways for one to get the stress out of their body. Having an exercise routine, and going to the gym are also very effective ways of removing stress or de-stressing yourself, removing the anger that you feel and venting it out, and thus, one of the ways to avoid any possible relapse.
Mental stage of relapse is also something that we need to watch out for. When you think of wanting to use and go back into the use of drugs, you simply should remember the reasons that led you to the use and to your addiction to drugs. Once you are aware of the reasons, try to find a way on how you can program your mind not to be lead into that same scenario. Always remember that having the mentality that no one would find out that you’ve relapsed is a bad mentality and it is something that you should not tell yourself or even make yourself believe in. Once you go back to using drugs, and once you get addicted to it again, there will always be signs and symptoms that would allow others determine that you have gone to a relapse.
Seeking the help of an expert would also be handy and useful for you to be properly guided and avoid going into a relapse. If an expert would not be readily available, you can talk to your friend who would always ensure that you would not go into a relapse. They say that sharing how and what you feel is one of the best ways to prevent a relapse from happening. Having someone to talk to would alleviate that feeling that you’re alone and that no one is there to listen to your problems, frustrations, and disappointments.
Take things one day at a time. You don’t need to be worried about abstaining from the use of drugs or be overwhelmed by the negative thought that you might fall into a relapse. These are some thoughts that may creep into your mind when you’re idle and alone. These are thoughts that you can avoid if you have someone that you can talk to and relate to regarding what you’re going through in life.
We should always remember that once you’ve gone out from the rehabilitation center; there will always be the possibility for you to go on relapse. Nobody is perfect and the only way for one to avoid going into a relapse is by being aware of ourselves. Knowing ourselves gives us an edge above all and being a step ahead by means of prevention, being more active in our lives, having a different set of friends, and ensuring that we don’t fall back into the same trap is the only key to be totally cured from our addiction to drugs.
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Dr. Vikram Tarugu, M.D, is the CEO of Detox of South Florida, Inc and medical professional focused on addiction. A veteran in the medical field with over 25 years of professional experience. He is a consultant for many South Florida Rehab centers. Patients travel from allover the US to seek his help with addiction and Hepatitis C treatment.
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