5 Surefire Ways to End up Relapsing

Young man and young woman buying drugs.

Both those struggling with substance abuse and their parents/loved ones worry about a relapse when the person gets out of treatment. Being in drug rehab is a safe environment and stepping back into day to day life can be riddled with pitfalls, some of which can be avoided relatively easy if you know what to watch out for. Here are some helpful guidelines:

1. Hanging out with the same group of people you were around before treatment. This is perhaps one of the most common pieces of advice from counselors to those fresh out of recovery. This is a huge problem for those getting out of treatment. They don't want to cut off their old friends, but their old friends are still doing the same old thing, alcohol and drugs. While your old friends may not be bad people, you have to realize they could be detrimental to your continued sobriety.

2. Letting problems in your life continue and do nothing about them. Substance abuse is how addicts “deal” with problems in their life. So, leaving problems in your life continue creates stress and can lead to a relapse for someone with a past of substance abuse problems.

3. Not setting goals or having any ambitions. Life is constantly changing, and everyone is getting better or getting worse. There is no constant normal. Failing to progress in life and move toward a goal can cause boredom and eventually lead recovering addicts to feel depressed. Their relapse could be just one small goal-less step away.

4. Not communicating with your support group. Whether this is your family, a 12-step meeting, or a group of good friends, they play a key role in your recovery. They give you an outlet to deal with your stress. Life is harder when you're alone and not talking to those who are supportive or even worse lying to friends and family hurts both them and you. Allow those around you to help and life will be a little easier. So will staying sober.

5. Getting into a relationship too quickly or with someone you shouldn't be with. Relationships can be a beautiful thing but that is when it is a healthy relationship. When you get into a relationship you are adding to your responsibilities and for someone just getting stable, it can be detrimental. Wait till you are stable and have established your “new normal” before getting into a relationship.

Help someone you know stay sober by using the above advice. And if someone you know is struggling with addiction, get them the help they need.



Aaron has been writing drug education articles and documenting the success of the Narconon program for over two years.