Alumni who have graduated from treatment at Hawaii Island Recovery are still tasked with maintaining their hard-earned sobriety by navigating stresses, urges, cravings, and a plethora of other challenges in daily life. While Hawaii Island Recovery is always available as continued support throughout any stage of the recovery journey, risks or relapse can still be difficult to overcome. Identifying the signs of potential relapse as early and accurately as possible can help ensure that alumni can pursue the necessary support through our Hawaii rehabilitation and make the changes needed to continue navigating a successful sober journey.
The Dangers of Potential Relapse
Relapse is a very difficult situation to overcome, and alumni who have navigated a dedicated treatment program and are living their sober lives can still be at risk of experiencing a relapse. Relapses are incredibly profound and indicate not just an engagement with addictive substances once again, but also the practices, beliefs, and behaviors that accompany such use. In other words, relapse marks the return to not only the use of drugs or alcohol but also the lifestyles that accompany their destructive use.
While a “slip” in recovery may constitute an engagement with alcohol or drugs before immediately distancing oneself and leaving these substances behind, relapses instead refer to a continuous, conscious engagement with these substances. Both slips and relapses demand professional attention, and it is always important to be cognizant of the dangers that relapse presents.
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Moreover, not only can relapse complicate a person’s recovery journey, but an individual may also quickly reengage with addictive substances at the same level or intensity as before they took their first step into treatment and recovery. This increases an individual’s risk of overdose and other self-destructive outcomes. In addition, increases in anxiety, depression, mood swings, and compromises to personal responsibilities, health, and daily routine are all common.
Various personal stresses can also influence the risk of relapse, including:
- Stressful professional life
- Difficulty managing anxiety, depression, or other mental health disorders
- Compromised confidence in the ability to maintain sobriety or onset of self-doubt
- Exposure to high-risk situations
- Cultures or social groups that accept or celebrate substance use
Identifying the signs of relapse as early as possible can help mitigate some of these destructive outcomes and empower alumni to refocus on their sober efforts while receiving the necessary professional support to navigate such a tumultuous time.
Signs of Potential Relapse
Relapse can encompass all areas of a person’s life, and recognizing the signs of potential relapse can empower alumni to tend to their needs and refocus their sober efforts efficiently. While each journey with addiction will be unique, there are some common signs and symptoms that relapse may be beginning to impact a person’s daily life and sobriety.
Urges and cravings are common experiences throughout recovery, and simply experiencing an urge or craving does not necessarily mean that a person is experiencing a relapse or is somehow “failing” in their recovery. However, if these urges and cravings become more and more frequent, it could indicate some new need in recovery. For some, this can indicate new, unexpected stresses that they were not prepared to cope with, while others may experience increased frequency or intensity of urges and cravings through a lack of self-care outlets.
Using journals to document the frequency and intensity of urges and cravings can be a great way to track these stresses and provide insight into these cravings. This can also help indicate the need for new strategies or Hawaii Island Recovery’s professional support to develop new goals and strategies for maintaining sobriety.
Romanticizing Past Use
Another sign of potential relapse can include romanticizing past use. For some, this can be thinking back fondly on times when engaging with such destructive substances was used, while others may simply lose focus on the destructive ramifications that came from such use. Recognizing that memories of past use are becoming more positive can be a cause for concern. Talking with family and professionals about past use can help alumni recognize the reality of past use by contextualizing otherwise romanticized notions to prevent further romanticizing addictive substances.
Adopting a Secretive Lifestyle
Relapse affects a person’s entire lifestyle, and adopting a more secretive daily life can indicate a change in perspective or attitude toward addictive substances. Being more secretive about where a person is going, locking doors, becoming protective of personal spaces and belongings, and other changes in daily life can all indicate stresses or potential changes in attitudes surrounding sobriety or their continued recovery efforts.
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Self-care is an important part of daily life and sustained recovery, and it is crucial to incorporate effective self-care practices into everyday routines. Noticing that an alumnus does not have the time to engage in self-care activities, hygiene routines, sleep schedules, or personal hobbies and outlets are being ignored or compromised in any way can increase the risk of relapse for those continuing to navigate their sober lives. Likewise, a lack of self-care can also make an individual more susceptible to relapse, making self-care a necessary priority for continued sobriety.
Keeping a rigid schedule and prioritizing self-care is necessary for a sustained sober life as an alumnus. Writing down such a schedule and considering self-care as an important responsibility is crucial for preventing relapse.
Relapse can be especially devastating, but recognizing the signs and symptoms of potential relapse can empower you and your loved ones to take action to continue pursuing your hard-earned sobriety. The comprehensive Hawaii rehabilitation offered at Hawaii Island Recovery can be instrumental in helping you not only take control of your sober journey but also maintain these transformations for a sustainable sober future while quelling the risks of relapse in daily life. We are prepared to personalize each recovery journey, whether you are just beginning your sober journey or looking to further your already established sober efforts and goals. For more information on how we can support you and prevent relapse, call to speak to us today at (866) 390-5070.