This article is intended to be used by the general public for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as a reference for educational research papers, nor is it a reflection of the services available through our Rehab Program in Thailand.
As the saying goes, “Old habits die hard.” Making significant changes to the way you think and behave takes time and a lot of work. It is not uncommon for people to make the decision to get sober and then return to using drugs or drinking alcohol again. In fact, this is more uncommon than you might think. Many people who get some continuous time in recovery end up relapsing.
We know that you have a genuine desire to stay sober. The best way to protect yourself against a relapse is to be aware of the signs that you might be headed for a drug or alcohol binge. When you raise your awareness level and become conscious that you may be in relapse mode, you can protect yourself against a slip.
Here are four signs you are headed for a relapse:
You start entertaining ideas about pursuing your drug of choice. You romanticize about what you remember as the good ole days. The longer you allow yourself to think about how good it would feel to use drugs or drink alcohol, the easier it will be for those thoughts to turn into desire. Soon your desire will turn into an obsession and then your obsession will become a compulsion. The next thing you know, you will relapse. If you find yourself thinking a lot about using drugs or alcohol, beware.
Your brain is tricky. It will convince you that getting high or drunk is okay and cause you to forget all the reasons why you shouldn’t do it. When you start believing the lies, you are in big trouble. You have to remember that when you use drugs or alcohol, bad things happen. Your life becomes unmanageable, you experience negative consequences, and you feel bad about yourself. Never forget why you got sober in the first place. Drugs and alcohol will always bring you pain and regret.
If you once had an addiction to drugs or alcohol – and you made the decision to stop drinking or drugging – chances are, you quit because you accepted the fact that you couldn’t control your drug or alcohol use. You attempted time and time again to drink responsibly or use drugs moderately. The problem was, you simply could not. You would go on binges and drink until you passed out or use drugs until you depleted all of your resources.
If you start thinking this time will be different, you may be headed for a relapse. This time won’t be different. You will drink or use just as much as you always did, and you won’t be able to control it.
Associating with people you used to use drugs or alcohol with is not a good idea. At first, you will convince yourself that you are strong enough to hang out with them – and you will honestly believe that you can stay sober even if they are drinking or drugging. But, the truth is you are setting yourself up for a relapse. It is NEVER smart to be in the company of people who get high or drunk when you are working a recovery program.
Relapse doesn’t have to be a part of your story. If you find yourself slipping into any of the thought or behavior patterns we’ve mentioned, be sure to talk about it with people in your support circle. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. People will not think less of you because you are having a moment of “weakness.” They will respect your recovery and offer you support until you transition from relapse mode back to recovery mode.
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