10 Factors That Can Affect Heroin Relapse

Worrying about relapsing on heroin while in recovery can be very scary. You have final gotten help and have begun your recovery journey and are worried about relapsing. Having that constant worry is normal, and the feeling of being able to avoid relapsing will become very rewarding.

What is A Relapse

A relapse can be defined as to fall or slide back into a former state. When a substance abuser relapses, it means that they have returned to using alcohol or drugs after a period of being sober. A relapse trigger is an event that gives the individual the justification to return to this behavior. In many instances this person will have been just looking for an excuse to relapse, and the trigger provided this excuse.

10 Factors That Can Affect Heroin Relapse

Stress/Frustration

Beginning a new sober life can become challenging. You have all these expectations of how you want your new life to be and how it should be. But the reality is, it’s going to take some time and work to get to those expectations. The journey to get to the point you wish, can be a rough one and can get stressful. An addict is used to taking stress and frustrations out by abusing drugs. That is one new thing that must be dealt with differently now on the path for a new life.

Being full of self-pity

Now that you are finally sober, you are beginning to see things much clearer. You may begin to realize all the horrible things you have done during your addiction and all the people you have hurt. You may even begin to realize how low your life came while suffering from addiction. During this time of feelings, it is most important to remember the new path you have chosen. The fact that you are now sober and clear minded it a reward to top all the past choices that affected you until now. There is much more in life coming and waiting for you and it is important to remember how hard you worked to get to where you are and be thankful you can now fix the pain you may have caused to yourself or others.

Taking Recovery for Granted

Being sober and on the recovery path successfully is a fantastic feeling. You are now confident, you see things clearer and have great plans for your recovery. Recovery lasts a lifetime. If your alive and are sober, you are still in recovery.  Recovery doesn’t end when you complete treatment or become sober, recovery is forever. Do not get too comfortable. It doesn’t matter if you have been in recovery for a week or for years, relapse can happen at any time. A relapse can be when you least expect it you have the urge to use again and relapse. It can become tricky to not get off track in your recovery. It is important to understand to continue the things that helped you begin your recovery in the first place.

Lying and Dishonesty

When people enter into recovery, they are making a decision to have a more honest approach to life. While trapped during addiction the individual will have been trapped in delusion and denial. In order to maintain the addiction, they would have also needed to behave dishonestly. If people become sober and continue to behave this way it is usually a sign that they are caught in dry drunk syndrome. This means that they are physically sober but their behavior is just as it always has been. Dishonesty prevents them from finding real happiness in recovery and may eventually cause them to relapse.

People or places connected to the addictive behavior

Being around people and places associated with one’s addiction can often push a person to relapse. For example, going back to a favorite bar may tempt an individual to pick up the bottle again. Another example, going back around previous friends you got high with or going back to places you got high at. It’s better to avoid these temptations, especially in the early phases of recovery.

Negative or Challenging Emotions

While negative emotions are a normal part of life, those struggling with addiction often cite frustration, anger, anxiety, and loneliness, as triggers for relapse. Therefore, usually as a part of therapy, its essential to develop effective ways of managing these feelings.

Times of Celebration

Most situations that can trigger relapse are perceived as negative. However, sometimes positive situations such as times of celebration, where alcohol or drugs are present, are just as risky. Avoiding such events or bringing along a trusted friend can assist in preventing relapse.

Seeing or sensing the object of your addiction

In recovery, even a slight reminder of the object of the addiction, such as seeing the portrayal of addictive behavior on television, can lead to relapse. While it is impossible to avoid such reminders forever, developing skills for managing any urges or cravings can aid in preventing relapse.

High Expectations of Others

Holding realistic expectations doesn’t just apply to your own life, it applies to other’s lives, as well. When we expect too much of our spouses, our parents, children, loved ones, friends, acquaintances, or co-workers, we set ourselves up for disappointment. Understand that everyone can and does make mistakes in daily life. Instead of holding your loved ones to unrealistic expectations, focus on healing and rebuilding your relationships one day at a time.

Overconfidence

Self-confidence is a powerful tool in addiction recovery. However, there is a fine line between holding your head high and know your boundaries and justifying that you are in complete control and a small amount of your drug of choice or another drug won’t hurt you. By allowing your self-image to become distorted, you may become overconfident and indulge in irrational thoughts. In recovery, it’s important to build a healthy balance of self-esteem and humility.

Avoiding A Relapse

When beginning the journey for recovery it is very important to be aware of the things that could possibly be a trigger for relapse. Whether leaving a treatment center or an outpatient program the aftercare that is chosen plays a very important role in the road to recovery. After care is a way to stay motivated in recovery and to continue to help you with struggles you may face.

While relapse may happen for some and not others, it’s important to remember that relapse does not mean failure. Recovering from addiction is a life-long process of hard work and dedication to one’s program and recovery path. It is important that if relapse happens, you or your loved one get help right away. This does not mean they failed and cannot complete recovery. Maybe it wasn’t their time. It is ok to need help again because no recovery is perfect. Call today to speak with an addiction consoler to help get you or your loved one on the right path.

 

Why Do Overdose Rates Increase Around the Holidays?

Overdose Rates IncreaseDuring the holidays, school is out, shopping malls are full of busy shoppers and the days are filled with celebrations. Two of the biggest events of the entire year are just around the corner and everyone is looking forward to the parties, presents, food, and drinks. For many people, the holidays bring happiness and joy; however, for others, it brings a large amount of stress. While most people can find coping methods that will not harm them in any way, this is a different situation for those who are still recovering from an addiction, whether it is from alcohol or drugs.

Stress and the Holidays

The holiday season can trigger both bad and good forms of emotions and stress. There are some people who will cope with this stress by eating. They consume large amounts of food, which may result in significant weight gain. While this is not the healthiest way to cope with stress, in most cases it does not cause any type of long-term issues. Excessive stress during the holidays can also trigger a number of negative patterns for some people, which include the use of drugs and consumption of alcohol. During the holidays, the use of drugs and alcohol are often exacerbated. Stress is considered one of the leading causes of a drug or alcohol relapse and the holiday season offers the ideal distraction for those who are still recovering.

Consequences of Negative Coping Methods for Holiday Stress

According to Surveillance for Violent Deaths, the rate of suicides, violence, drug overdoses and automobile accidents increases significantly during the holiday time. The majority of these incidents are directly connected to drug and alcohol abuse, especially by individuals who are trying to deal with the stress brought on by the holidays. In a study from the Centers for Disease Control, it was discovered that most suicide victims also tested positive for illicit drug or alcohol use directly before their death. According to this study, the following things were related to overdoses and deaths during the holiday season:

  • 33 percent of cases involved the consumption of alcohol
  • 16 percent of suicide victims had tested positive for using opiates
  • 9 percent had used cocaine prior to their death
  • 8 percent used marijuana

There is no question that alcohol is a contributing cause of a number of unintentional injuries, including those that occur due to a car accident. It will impair a person’s judgment and may put them at a higher risk of being injured or even dying. This is not only a danger to the person consuming the alcohol, but also to others who are on the road.

Taking Action to Cope with Holiday Stress

The fact is that there is no easy solution for dealing with holiday stress. It is important that families are supportive during this time, since it can be so difficult for those who are recovering from addiction – of any type. Families can provide support by not bringing alcohol around, reducing the responsibilities of the person who is recovering or even taking over certain tasks related to the holiday season.

However, for some, this may still not be enough. At this point it may be a good idea to seek inpatient treatment. This type of treatment is designed to help recovering addicts or alcoholics deal with the stresses of the season. These programs provide a safe environment that will allow those recovering to discuss their issues and receive professional help to ensure that a relapse does not occur.

Taking time to handle holiday stress in an appropriate manner is essential. For some, seeking outside help from an inpatient treatment facility will be beneficial. Take the time to find one that offers support and courses that will help recovering people deal with stress in a positive manner. When this is done, the person will have a much lower chance of becoming another holiday statistic.