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When and Why does Relapse Happen?
Chemical addiction is a disease, and, like many diseases, there is always the possibility of relapse. The solutions to the problem of chemical addiction are multi-faceted. Treatment strategies benefit from a relapse prevention component in virtually every case.
In substance dependency, relapse is the act of taking that first drug after being deliberately clean and sober for a time. But relapse is a process that begins well in advance before this actual act. People who have relapsed can usually point back to certain things that they thought and did long before they actually used drugs again. They may have become complacent in their program of recovery in some way or refused to ask for help when they needed it. Each persons relapse factors are unique to them, their diagnosis, and personal plan of recovery.
Relapse is usually caused by combinations of factors. Adolescents are at particularly high risk for relapse because of their developmental stage. Often adolescent issues include physical and emotional issues which can reinforce relapse tendencies. Substance dependence may delay normal development of a teen, therefore making it difficult to function appropriately. These difficulties produce discomfort in social life of adolescent. Return to drug use may be a way to avoid these uncomfortable feelings.
There is a number of predisposing factors that may result in relapse. They include the following elements:
high stress personality;
lack of support;
inadequate coping skills;
dual or multiple diagnosis;
lack of impulse control.
There are also factors that can interfere with the teen's recovery process. These factors may include:
divorce or separation of parents;
moving away from old friends;
loss or death of family members or important others;
break-up of relationships with boyfriend or girlfriend;
feeling bored for long time;
feeling of physical pain;
suddenly having a lot of cash;
using prescription drugs that can make a teen high even when used properly.
If you observe your child you will be able to notice the signs of relapse. Being on the alert and talking to your doctor in due time may keep your child from using drugs again. The following signs and symptoms of possibility of relapse will help you:
high sensitivity to stress;
he/she stops telling about their feelings and mostly you hear that "everything is fine", but you can see that it is not;
he/she becomes very angry about sincere feedback on their behavior and recovery process;
ordinary everyday problems become too difficult to solve;
compulsive and/or impulsive behavior.
If your teen demonstrates at least some mentioned symptoms, you'd better consult his/her doctor. Sometimes just well-timed conversation will help your child to avoid relapse and remain abstinent