Patterns leading to addiction
are hard to erase, and recovering from substance abuse involves more than simply
abstinence. Relapses are common during a persons recovery. During treatment,
many of the stresses of every day life are removed. Returning to the previous
life may produce all of the old problems.
The warning signs of relapse
include returning to old habits, friends, hangouts or denial. An example of
denial is "I no longer have to worry about using inhalants." Without
on-going support, the persons coping mechanisms may be too fragile to
resist returning to old patterns.
The following are recommended:
- Aftercare - Aftercare
takes a variety of forms. It often includes a structured plan for relapse
prevention and active participation in treatment issues.
- Support Group - Groups
such as NA or AA use a 12-step approach to help the recovering person develop
a different life style. Hearing the facts from those who are recovering and
are willingly making the commitment to achieve a drug-free lifestyle is a
particularly effective part of the persons support.
- Sponsor - Each newly
recovering person will benefit from having a sponsor. A sponsor is a recovering
person who is always available to the new member by telephone for encouragement,
for clarification, and as a sounding board, particularly during the early
stages of recovery.
Youths need empathetic health
care professionals who are committed to helping them receive appropriate treatment.
They also need acceptance and understanding as they begin their recovery.
addiction is very difficult to treat and relapse is common.