For those that are not addicted to drugs and/or alcohol it can be a wonder that some addicts continuously go back and forth between being sober and abusing drugs. Sometimes this rollercoaster can go on for years,. While this may seem strange to some people, it is quite a normal phenomenon to others.
Experts agree that oftentimes the addict needs to be ready and willing to handle his or her addiction before any real progress can be made, but that doesn‘t rule out an intervention. In fact, it is quite the opposite. A successful intervention results in a better family dynamic as well as the individual willing to get better. This milestone can prove to be quite challenging to arrive at without the right help, especially because addicts spend most of their life shutting everyone and everything out with the help of their drug of choice.
Avoidance of people and problems allows addicts to continue on their path to destruction. The drugs help them to not care what loved ones and family members think and feel. “When you’re addicted, you’re in love with drugs, alcohol or both and the rest of the world be damned. So it’s very self-centered,” explained Candace Hodgkins, CEO of a treatment center.
Drugs are often used as a blocker – the addict may initially seek out prescription painkillers to block pain, but eventually the pills become useful to the addict because they also block guilt, mental anguish, fears and stress. This mechanism is the same for all drugs and alcohol, yet the very substances that they feel are helping them are continuing to make everything worse.
Relapse occurs when the addict has been clean for a certain amount of time and then goes back to the same drug pattern that was present prior to treatment. The good news is that there are warning signs that relapse is on the horizon, and most successful treatment centers offer relapse prevention tools to both patients and family members.
Generally, when someone comes out of a treatment center they are given a strict calendar of continuing therapy of some type. This may include outpatient treatment, regularly attending AA or NA meetings, individual counseling or even getting and maintaining a job. If the addict stops doing these things then that is typically a sign that they are flirting with a relapse. Responsibility has a lot to do with maintaining sobriety. Additionally, the cessation of communication, angry outbursts and unexplained disappearances are signs that a relapse may have already occurred.
If you would like more information about successful rehabilitation options and tips on preventing relapse after treatment, contact us any time.