Drugs are dangerous for many reasons. For starters, they alter the process of the body, they change your behaviors, they ruin relationships, they drain your pocketbook, they kill you, and once you’re in the hands of an addictive substance, the possibility of relapse is scarily real. Drugs forever haunt you. This is why it’s important to stay away from them no matter what.
People have different opinions on the matter and whether the less hard-core drugs are as harmful and people quarrel over what makes a gateway drug a gateway drug. The point of the matter is that all addictive substances or behaviors, no matter how life-threatening they are are dangers and have the possibility of dragging you down a hole you can never get yourself out of.
If you know an addict who has recently gotten help for their addiction and you’re concerned for their wellbeing as they continue on in their life, here are ways you can personally help an addict avoid relapse:
Know What Triggers It
A huge way you can help an addict avoid relapse is to be informed about what causes addicts to relapse in the first place. If you can do research and understand that drugs and addictions literally rewire the brain to the point that it doesn’t think it can survive without that substance, you will be able to relate and have empathy much easier.
Memories and life circumstances can flip the switch in somebody to cause them to start using again. Know your friend who’s recovering and know what caused them to use in the first place and you’ll be better equipped to help them avoid the fall back into the lifestyle.
Know the Emotional Signs
In addition to knowing what will cause relapse, you must also know the emotional signs that show if a person is on track to start using again. People who are vulnerable to it might start having anxiety, mood swings, anger, defensiveness or intolerance, trouble sleeping, and they might start retreating from group events and spending a lot of time alone.
If you see this happening, address the person in a way you know they’re going to be able to handle. Don’t accuse them of their behavior, but lovingly discuss that you’re concerned for them and ask what you can do to help. If they don’t want help, continue to keep an eye on them and be the support they need, even if they refuse it.
Relapse is not a joke. Relapse can often trigger usage that is worse than it was before the abuser received help. As long as you’re educated, aware, and know what to look for you can help to stop relapse. Unfortunately, it’s a battle they have to choose to fight, so beware of that.