For many people struggling with addiction, relapse is part of the journey. Psychology Today explains that between 70 and 90 percent of addicts slip at some point, including those who eventually succeed.
Numerous triggers such as access, pressure, traumatic life events, and other stressors can lead to relapse. What is important is not the slip itself; it is standing up and moving forward again. For that, an addicted person needs the support and compassion of a trusted friend as well as professional care through drug and alcohol rehab in Florida.
What Are Some of the Signs that a Friend is Headed Into Relapse?
Isolation is one of the first signs of trouble, according to Healthy Place. There is strength in friendship. When a friend with an addiction problem withdraws, stops returning calls or texts and otherwise stops interacting with you or your group of friends, it is probably time to check on the person in earnest.
An argumentative attitude is a clear warning sign. Healthy Place says addicts may turn friends into “frenemies,” meaning there is an undercurrent of hostility or even a clear dislike. If your friend returns to an old peer group, particularly those who use drugs and alcohol, your suspicious are likely spot-on.
You cannot win the battle of addiction for your friend, but you can hold him or her accountable for his or her behaviors, says Everyday Health. Be honest about what you perceive as a problem. You might not get the reaction that you want, but this is only the first stage.
Which Steps Can You Take to Help?
The best course of action when you see a friend or loved one slipping into relapse is to “stay firm.” Everyday Health says you should “hold addicts accountable for their recovery from relapse” the same as they are accountable for addiction. Temper your unwavering stance with encouragement. Relapse is a fragile situation for a recovering addict. Too much pressure could have a negative effect.
In the meantime, do not get so involved in your friend’s battle that you lose sight of your own well being. Stay available and offer support when needed, but take care of yourself. Watch for influential signals you may unwittingly send. Keep up your own healthy routine and invite the recovering addict along for a healthy meal, exercise, or any other positive activity.
Is There Anything You Should Not Do?
The closer you are to an addicted person and the more you care about him or her, the more you may enable destructive behavior without meaning to cause harm. It is natural to want the person to enjoy life and avoid struggles. However, paying a bill if the person is broke from spending money on drugs does not help. Neither does ignoring a problem in the hopes that it will go away.
Everyday Health lists these are some of the most important behaviors that you should avoid:
- Do not make excuses for a relapse.
- Do not try to solve your friend’s problem for them.
- Avoid nagging or being pushy.
- Do not try to soothe the person’s guilt, as that might be a factor that drives the person back into treatment.
- Conversely, do not ladle on more guilt than the person already feels. It can have the opposite effect.
- Do not fret too much about relapse. For many addicts, it really is part of the process.
Watching a friend struggle with addiction is hard enough. Watching your friend slide into a relapse after believing addiction has been conquered can be devastating for you personally and for your friendship. Try to keep in mind that relapse is not abnormal. Most people require extensive initial treatment and at least more than one round plus aftercare before they have all of the skills they need to live drug-free for life.
Drug and alcohol rehab in Florida is designed for the individual. Every person’s program is carefully curated for individual success, even in relapse. If you are witnessing the relapse of a friend, he or she needs help as soon as possible.
Contact us to speak with professionals who can help.
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.