5 Signs Your Friend is About to Relapse
When someone we love gets through rehab and begins the process of maintaining sobriety, there is plenty of concern and anxiety in the air. It’s not easy to stay clean, even after a rehabilitation treatment program. As concerned friends and relatives, we want to keep an eye out for potential signs of danger in an effort to support the recovering addict in facing the challenge of recovery. Here are five signs that should tip you off to something going wrong.
He Stops Going to Meetings
Sometimes a person achieves a level of sobriety that seems manageable and they decide not to attend the AA meetings or the group therapy anymore. This can be alright but most of the time when a recovering addict stops going to meetings, it’s a big red flag that they’re slipping back into relapse. Just keep an eye out when you notice the meetings stop.
He Cuts Ties with Sponsors and Support
The biggest asset to a successful recovery is a support system. Having someone to call when you crave the drug or feel it all closing in on you is exceedingly helpful. But when someone begins to distance themselves from the people put in place to help them stay sober, it’s often a sign that they’re in danger of relapse.
He Isolates Himself
Retreating into isolation is a major sign of depression. Of course, sometimes we just want to be alone. But excessive time spent in isolation can be dangerous for someone in addiction recovery. When it’s just you, all those demons start whispering in your ear and a downward spiral of depression is close at hand. If your friend is starting to drift away from everyone else, reach out and try to be there for him. Pull him back into the group. Only with support and a group to lean on can we fight off those whispers.
He Mentions Having “Just One”
This is the first step toward the pit. That little voice in the ear is always crooning about how easy and simple and harmless it would be to just have one little bitty hit. “Just to take the edge off,” he says. But this is a prime signal that relapse is a possibility. Talk them down from this branch of the tree with some common sense and a reinforcement that sobriety—real sobriety—is the goal.
He Slides into Denial
When the cravings are raring up and your friend is feeling depressed and cut off from his former lifestyle and routines, he’ll start to imagine several scenarios that would make it okay to return. Saying things like “It wasn’t that bad” or “I was just in a phase” will attempt to sway himself and others toward justifying and blessing the relapse. Don’t let these words of denial and self-delusion convince the addict that it’s alright to pick up and use again.