For some people, the hardest part of overcoming a substance abuse or addiction problem is not the detoxification. The hardest part is preventing relapse, which is defined by a return to a drug addiction or substance abuse problem following a recovery. Unfortunately not every person who overcomes drug addiction or substance abuse is actually able to prevent these "demons" from returning. As such, it is vitally essential that you be aware of the warning signs that an addiction relapse may be occurring.
Whether it is you that is struggling through recovery or a loved one, knowing and recognizing these signs is going to be vitally essential.
Here is a look at some of the warning signs of addiction relapse:
- Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms: You may begin to experience any of the following symptoms: Difficulties with thinking, problems with emotionally overreacting, disturbances in your sleep, difficulties with your memory, becoming more accident prone than before, beginning to experience sensitivity to feelings of stress.
- Avoidance Behavior and Defensive Behavior: You may begin to avoid the people that you know will give you honest feedback, or you may begin to feel angry and irritable at them for voicing their opinions.
- Return to Denial: You may stop telling other people what you are thinking or feeling, and you may begin to convince yourself or other people that everything is just fine even in situations where it is not so.
- Beginning to Crisis Build: You may begin to notice that the day's ordinary problems are beginning to become overwhelming, and you may feel as if you cannot solve your ordinary problems no matter how much effort you put into it.
- Feeling Stuck: You may begin to feel as if you are stuck with no place to go, and no means of solving your problems. You may begin to feel trapped or stuck and like nothing that you do is helping you get anywhere.
- Feelings of Depression: You may begin to feel a general "down in the dumps" feeling, or as if you do not have enough energy to get you through the day. You may begin to feel so depressed that you begin to consider self harm or suicide.
- Compulsive Behaviors and Impulsive Behaviors: You may begin to implement impulsive or compulsive behaviors in a manner that is out of control. For example, you may begin to abuse food, caffeine, sex, nicotine, gambling, work or even exercise. You may also begin to react in a manner without considering the consequences that your behavior will have on yourself or other people.
- Cravings and Urges: You may begin to feel as if alcohol use or drug use is the only way that you are going to feel better. You may begin to formulate justifications for drinking and using, and you may begin to convince yourself that abusing the substance is the most logical thing for you to do.
- Loss of Chemical Control: You may begin to drink or to abuse the substance again in order to solve your current problems. You may begin to feel as if it is all over until you hit the rock bottom, trying to rationalize your behavior. Unfortunately, your problems are only going to continue to worsen from this point.
As you can see, the warning signs of an addiction relapse can sort of occur along a spectrum. There are some warning signs that are simply more obvious than the others. Not every reformed substance abuser is going to experience all of these symptoms, but some people will. Ultimately it is how well you identify and eliminate these issues that truly matters. If you experience any of these addiction relapse warning signs in any manner, you should look into getting help right away. Getting the right amount of help and support is going to mean the difference between overcoming your addiction permanently and continuing to struggle with it until it consumes you.
Everyone can run into situations where they feel like relapse is the only answer. If you are troubled by your substance abuse past, then know that there is help out there for you. Drug rehabilitation programs and substance abuse rehabilitation programs are designed to help people prevent relapse from occurring. The right help and support is going to go a very long way in ensuring that you are able to kick your habit once and for all. Contact a rehab facility in your local area to begin getting help today.