5 Reasons for Relapse

5 Reasons for Relapse

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

If you’re working a program of recovery in Fresno California, it’s good to know that everyone’s path to sobriety will not be the same. Some believe that a slip or a relapse can be a part of recovery, a sign that some behavior (involving either people, persons, or places) may require more attention. But, one thing is sure, relapse doesn’t have to be a part of your recovery, especially when you’re aware of some main reasons why people fall back into old behaviors.

5 Pitfalls That May Signal a Relapse

1. The overconfidence of early recovery

Early recovery can be a time of mistakes and/or overconfidence. After an alcoholic or addict has completed a drug rehab program, the first 90 days to one year will take a lot of work. It is not uncommon to swing between extreme emotions as the recovering person must also deal with family, friends, and coworkers that may not be quite ready to trust.

For some in early recovery, it can be the extremes such as being highly overconfident and going into a bar or hanging with old using acquaintances. It’s easy to forget that early recovery is a minute-by-minute experience. You can feel totally safe in one moment, and find yourself sliding into a relapse during the next.

2. Loneliness or lack of a support group encourages relapse

There are different support groups, and a recovering person should have more than one to help stave off a relapse. Supportive family and friends, 12-step meetings, drug rehab aftercare, a sobriety sponsor, 6 types of group therapy, and a network of sober and recovering persons are examples of support groups. These people will all help navigate a substance-free lifestyle and call-out the alcoholic/addict when they are exhibiting relapse behavior.

Social, emotional, or physical isolation can all contribute to loneliness or depression. An addict needs more than just being in the physical presence of people, they need to make connections that are supportive and dependable. So when the natural feelings of loneliness do crop up, your support group can be an anchor through the storm.

3. Wanting instant results – without the work

This is just another example of stinking thinking, which is dangerous for any recovering person. It’s easy to forget that recovery is not a sprint, but a long and slow marathon. It takes consistent effort to live a healthy and sober lifestyle. This includes getting involved at meetings, showing up for all aftercare sessions, and calling your support group when your thoughts turn negative.

Depending on the person’s addiction treatment program, the more actively involved they are in helping run meetings and participating in sober functions, the better. If your previous work or recreational lifestyle was high-energy or very involved, then it may be prudent to keep idle hands busy staying sober.

4. When you stop doing what works

This is just as critical for the old-timer as it is for the newcomer – if it worked in the past, then you should keep doing it. As you grow in sobriety, there’s nothing wrong with doing more or less. Speak with your sponsor if you’re thinking about dating or cutting back on meetings. If your sobriety was built on a lot of honesty and openness with your support group, then don’t start holding back and become secretive.

Even after drug or alcohol cravings lessen, that doesn’t mean it’s okay to stock the home bar again. After 90 days, you may cut back on the daily meetings, but you certainly should not stop going to all recovery groups.

5. Living in the problem, and not the solution

For many recovering persons, there may be a trail of broken promises, unpaid bills, or work/family/relationship problems. The difference in recovery is that you learn to face problems, sort them out, and do the work to deal with them. When you continue to ignore past problems, they demand a lot of your mental and emotional energy. Rather than live in the problem and risk a relapse, it’s better to talk with someone in addiction treatment to learn how you can deal with these issues – and come out on the other side.

In Fresno California, relapse never has to be a part of recovery. First Steps Recovery includes Fresno California addiction treatment that deals with relapse and recovery. For more information, call us at 844-489-0836 to learn how you can stay on track toward a rewarding and healthy lifestyle.

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