Relapse Definition: Part of the Addiction Cycle?

relapse and addiction cycle

relapse and addiction cycle

The Relapse Definition

The “Relapse” definition is commonly explained as using a drug after a period of sobriety, or the continued use of a substance despite it having been previously stopped.  Falling back into the addictive behaviors of drug or alcohol addiction means you will have to begin the addiction treatment process again. Relapse prevention and coping skills skill can improved upon with time, effort, and relapse and training. This article will go into more detail about these coping strategies.

 

Is Relapse Part of the Addiction Cycle?

Relapse is a common part of addiction recovery, but is it an expected part of the addiction cycle? According to statistics, anyone who has recovered from substance use disorders will likely have a relapse. Most relapses in addiction occur in the first year. People in recovery must be aware of the most common triggers for relapse. 

How many people in the United States relapse after drug addiction treatment? A recent survey concluded that 35.8% of people who had received treatment for their drug addiction reported having used again while in early recovery, or within one year of quitting. One-third of those who return to active addiction was able to stay sober for only 90 days. But there are ways that we might be able to reduce the numbers and help addicts.

 

Relapse Triggers

Reviewing the possible triggers that may lead to relapse will help a person avoid those triggers and prevent a relapse into unhealthy behavior. Regression usually occurs because of one or more of the following reasons:

  1. Withdrawal symptoms
  2. Underlying mental health issues
  3. Keeping in the company of drug users
  4. Poor self-care
  5. Boredom and isolation
  6. Uncomfortable emotions

 

Stages of Relapse

The relapse process is a cyclical one; if you are not educated about the stages of relapse, you will not be aware of the warning signs and find yourself giving into cravings eventually. There are three stages through which drug addicts usually go through when they relapse. These stages vary from addict to addict, but there are common factors present in all of them.

 

man sleeping on his desk

 

Emotional Relapse

Emotional relapse usually occurs when you remember your first relapse as a drug and alcohol user. The SUD to drugs and alcohol is immediately triggered by a memory of using the substance for the first time in a particular environment or situation. It usually happens with recovering addicts who use drugs and alcohol in social situations, such as family, friends, parties, etc. 

Signs of Emotional Relapse Include:

  1. Suppressing emotions
  2. Attending meetings but not engaging
  3. Skipping meetings or group therapy sessions
  4. Focusing on other’s problems
  5. Isolation
  6. Over or undersleeping 
  7. Eating problems

Knowing how to avoid emotional relapse is the best way to stay successful after rehab. Recovery from drug or alcohol abuse is nearly impossible unless you know how to prevent emotional relapse and keep your body safe from addiction. 

 

Mental Relapse

Mental relapse is a war within the mind. One side wants to eliminate negative emotions by using drugs and alcohol, while the other side doesn’t want to relapse. Resisting addiction relapse at this stage becomes more and more difficult as the sufferer retreats deeper into denial and isolation from their loved ones, mimicking relapse definition.

Signs of Mental Relapse Include:

  1. Reminiscing about past drug and alcohol use and addict lifestyle
  2. Craving drugs and alcohol
  3. Lying or bargaining
  4. Thinking of ways to control drug and alcohol use
  5. Seeking out opportunities to relapse
  6. Planning a relapse

Mental relapse is the most challenging time in recovery for the addict. They go through feelings of hopelessness and depression. It appears like they have lost everything. This is the time when they are at their most vulnerable and will need the support of their family and friends to help them get back on track.

 

hands breaking free of chains

 

Physical Relapse

Physical relapse is the act of returning to drug-seeking behaviors and may be accompanied by compulsively using drugs regardless of consequences. The ability to resist the compulsion can be impaired from prolonged drug abuse, repeated relapses, and episodes of being sober. 

The most obvious form of physical relapse is a return to drug use, but in some cases, it may occur in the form of a process not directly related to obtaining drugs. Experts say that physical progression is much more likely to happen if you “forget” to take your medications or otherwise get off your treatment program. This is often called “slipping” or going to “another level.”

 

Breaking the Cycle of Addiction

The road to recovery is not an easy one, but it is possible. And one day at a time, you’ll begin living a life you may never have thought possible. Deconditioning oneself from an addictive behavior requires commitment, motivation, and inner strength. Breaking the cycle of addiction is a tough job, but it can be done. The important thing to remember is that heroin addiction is not just a physical problem; it’s also an emotional one. It’s not unusual for someone who has become addicted to heroin to want to get clean and stay clean, yet find themselves unable to do so because they haven’t first dealt with all of their problems with love and support from family members and friends.

If you are struggling with substance abuse or just considering whether treatment is right for you, it’s important to understand the benefits of choosing help. The risks of not getting treatment can be devastating – financially, morally, socially, and even physically. Anchored Tides Recovery offers support groups that focus on relapse definition and prevention. Please contact us today at 1-866-524-6014 and get on the road to recovery. Our program will help you, or your loved one, find alternatives to replace unhealthy behaviors and learn life skills to maintain long-term sobriety.

Addiction and Employment: Get Help, Don’t Get Fired

addiction and employment

It’s common to feel that addiction and employment do not mix very well and is a severe problem. The American Addiction Centers estimates that there are 14.8 million Americans who use illegal drugs, including thousands of working professionals. It’s good to know that when it comes to addiction and employment, there are resources that can help you overcome your struggles without having to sacrifice your career. Read on to find out more about some of these programs. 

Getting into a rehab program during employment is possibly the world’s most pervasive and damaging vice. The treatment programs address the substance abuse problem and manage any co-occurring disorders among the addicts.

 

How does Addiction Affect your Employment? 

The answer lies in the effect that addiction has on one’s job security. One significant impact is that those struggling with addiction are more likely to be fired from their jobs, often because they struggle with attendance and job performance. Addiction harms not only the individual employee but also the family and employers of the individual as well.

There are two types of workplace problems common to people struggling with an addiction: substance abuse and absenteeism. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA; funding comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) classifies substance abuse into functioning categories, including no or low impairment, moderate impairment, and high impairment. A person with a dependent or abusive problem is considered to have a high level of impairment if he or she has lost or been dismissed from a job where s/he used to be productive.

girl with her hands on her face

 

How to Handle an Alcoholic Employee?

An alcoholic employee is someone who abuses alcohol to the point it affects their work. This can take place at any time of day and not just during work hours. Despite the prevalence of drug use in the U.S., both before and during the current recession, many employers are uninformed about how to handle a worker who struggles with an addiction problem.

It’s essential to know the signs that an employee may be drinking as an alcoholic to handle the situation appropriately.

 

Analyze the effect of employee’s addiction problem at the workplace

Each case is unique, so have a clear sense of the threat your employee’s drug or alcohol use poses to your company. Is your employee creating a direct physical danger in the workplace? 

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), one-fifth of workers and managers report that a coworker’s alcohol problems have jeopardized their safety and productivity. The action of someone who is intoxicated in the workplace can place other employees and property at risk. If an employee’s substance abuse has caused injury to you, your coworkers, or your employer’s property, that’s grounds for termination.

 

Consult the company’s Human Resources policy

If an employee shows up drunk and disorderly at the office, what is the proper reaction? Having an HR (Human Resource) policy with clear guidelines in place will help you act swiftly and appropriately. While the specifics of each policy may vary across businesses and industries, all procedures should have a zero-tolerance approach to drugs or alcohol in the workplace. 

Distribute a company manual to everyone hired at a new location. The manual should outline company policies, procedures, and practices, including any drug or alcohol policy that may legally prohibit the possession or consumption of an illegal substance by employees. 

 

Evaluate how substance abuse is affecting the employee’s job performance

If you suspect that one or more of your employees are using drugs, it’s essential to investigate, and possibly perform a drug test. Before you take disciplinary action against an employee, it is good to evaluate the reason for their job performance. Ask yourself if their job performance is due to substance abuse; what can you do about it? 

If drug abuse affects the individual’s job performance, it is in your best interest to terminate employment. Reducing turnover and absenteeism and increasing productivity can add up to considerable long-term savings for you.

 

Assess employee’s level of substance abuse problem ownership and motivation to change

If your employee uses drugs or alcohol on the job, you can help them without violating their rights or exposing yourself to legal risk. The Employee Motivation to Address Substance Abuse Questionnaire (EMASAQ), in conjunction with the Personal Inventory Questionnaire (PIQ), offers an effective way for you to measure your employee’s ownership of their alcohol abuse problem. By assessing their level of ownership and motivation to change, you can craft an action plan that will have the greatest chance of success.

 

Job Protections Under Federal Law for employees during drug addiction treatment

If you are dealing with the disease of addiction to drugs or alcohol, or if you have a family member or friend who is, you should know that job protections under federal law are available if you’re considering different treatment options. 

girl drinking beer

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Family Medical Leave Act protect an employee’s rights to maintain their job while overcoming a drug or alcohol addiction. These laws outline what protections you are guaranteed, how to speak with your employer regarding your situation, and how the law may act in your favor if you are being discriminated against due to your drug use.

Additionally, in 2003, the Board of Nursing created RAMP (Recovery and Monitoring Program) as an alternative to the Discipline program. RAMP offers confidential, voluntary support to health care nurses recovering from alcohol or drug dependency. Nurses work with employers and close colleagues while at treatment facilities; here they can receive the appropriate treatment for their recovery and rapid reinstatement.

Addiction affects every aspect of your major life activities negatively, but it doesn’t have to end your employment dream. Contact us at Anchored Tides Recovery Center. A gender-specific rehab center and a place for women to heal will help you fulfill the emptiness and free yourself from the addiction that has hurt you and those around you. Understanding the illness and having a strategy are keys to staying employed while battling addiction. 

Getting into a drug addiction treatment center program during employment can be challenging, and we want to make sure that you get the help you need. Get informed on addiction and employment issues today, and call us to learn more about our therapy sessions and support groups to achieve sobriety.

 

Weight Loss Pills and the Risk of Addiction

weight loss pills

Most weight loss pills contain amphetamine-like medications and are on the controlled substances schedule. Abuse of these medicines can lead to dependence and addiction. Weight loss pills are weight to treat overweight or obese people when diet and exercise do not cause significant weight loss. Prescription weight-loss drugs are chemically similar to amphetamines, which have a well-established history of abuse. Understandably, some people wonder if these drugs carry a risk of abuse and dependence. 

 

U.S. FDA-Approved Weight Loss Pills

The United States FDA has approved the following drugs to help to lose weight in overweight and obese people. 

 

For long-term use

  • Orlistat (Xenical). It works by blocking the enzymes that your body uses to break down ingested fat. It is available both with and without a doctor’s prescription (OTC). OTC orlistat (Alli) contains a lower dose of the medication. 

 

  • Phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia). This combination product works by increasing energy expenditure and decreasing appetite. You need a doctor’s prescription to buy this product. 

 

  • Naltrexone-bupropion (Contrave). The medicines in Contrave work in the part of the brain that regulates your appetite and energy expenditure. It is available only with a doctor’s prescription. 

 

  • Liraglutide (Saxenda). Available by injection only, it works in your gut and brain. Liraglutide slows down the passage of food from the stomach to the small intestine. 

 

For short-term use 

All the weight loss pills used for short-term weight management are similar to amphetamines. 

  • Phentermine (Lomaira)
  • Benzphetamine (Didrex)
  • Diethylpropion (Tenuate) 
  • Phendimetrazine (Adipost, Anorex-SR)

 

Can Weight Loss Pills Lead to Addiction?

Abuse of weight loss pills is widespread. Most notably, abuse is more common among young women and those with a history of mental illness or drug abuse. Likewise, eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia, also increase abuse risk. 

weight loss pill and measuring tape

Some people may develop tolerance to weight loss medication, which means they need a higher amount of the drug to feel the effects. Long-term use/abuse may also lead to dependence. When this occurs, users may experience uncomfortable symptoms – such as high blood sugar levels, stomach pain, or other common withdrawal symptoms – upon stopping the drug. 

 

Does this Mean Weight Loss Pills are Addictive?

Abuse, dependence, and addiction are different things. One may have drug dependence but not an addiction. Addiction is a chronic mental disease that occurs when a person continues drug use despite the known health and other hazards. You should also understand that physical dependence, unlike psychological dependence, is a stronger predictor of addiction. 

Interestingly, this does not mean that addiction is unlikely. There have been several reports of addiction associated with the use of weight loss pills. Medicines in these pills are usually Central Nervous System stimulants; they increase energy levels, lift mood, help drop bodyweight, and cause euphoria, creating a perfect recipe for dependence. 

People also tend to mix weight loss pills with other drugs, or while drinking alcohol. The side effects of the medication sometimes will mitigate the less desired symptoms of drug abuse, like fatigue. 

The addiction risk of weight loss pills is lower than that of amphetamines. Nonetheless, this should not be an excuse for you to abuse them. Abuse may lead to overdose, which can be fatal. 

 

Does the DEA control weight Loss Pills?

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has categorized weight loss pills into either Schedule III or Schedule IV. 

 

Schedule III weight loss pills

Moderate to low risk for physical and psychological dependence.

  • Benzphetamine (Didrex)
  • Phendimetrazine (Adipost, Anorex-SR)

 

Schedule IV weight loss pills

Low risk of abuse and dependence. 

  • Phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia)
  • Diethylpropion (Tenuate) 

 

Effects of Weight Loss Pill Abuse

In low doses, you may experience:

  • Euphoria
  • Intense Feelings of Wellbeing
  • Rapid Heart Rate 
  • Elevated Blood Pressure
  • Increased Alertness
  • Talkativeness
  • Decreased Appetite

 

Higher doses may cause:

  • Anxiety
  • Tension
  • Increased Body Temperature
  • Nausea
  • Shaking
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

 

Signs and Symptoms of Withdrawal 

The following withdrawal symptoms can persist for one to three weeks. Relapse usually occurs within 4 to 12 weeks of discontinuing amphetamine or similar drugs. 

  • Irritability
  • Aches and Pains
  • Depression
  • Impaired Social Functioning

 

Treatment of Weight Loss Pill Dependence

A combination of medicine and counseling is the cornerstone of stimulant dependence treatment. Medicines can include drugs to improve mood and control anxiety and seizures. Counseling is an integral part of addiction/dependence treatment. The most commonly used forms of psychotherapy are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Dialectal Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and contingency management (CM). 

girl with two types of pills on front of her

 

FAQs

Are herbal weight loss pills safe?

The U.S. FDA does not regulate these products. Hence, their safety is unknown. It is best to avoid these miracle drugs that promise dramatic weight loss in no time.

 

Does metformin help with weight loss?

With a healthy diet and exercise, metformin works to help you lose a few pounds. However, side effects are common. Some metformin side effects include diarrhea, bloating, muscle pain, and low blood sugar. If you have questions about starting or how to stop taking metformin, talk to your doctor

 

Key Takeaways

  • Most prescription weight loss pills contain amphetamine-like substances. 
  • Many users have reported dependence and withdrawal. 
  • These medicines are in either Schedule III or Schedule IV of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). 
  • Though these pills are less likely than amphetamine to cause addiction, addiction may lead to potentially fatal overdoses. 

 

Addiction to these pills is common, along with eating disorders. If you or someone you know is struggling, the staff at Anchored Tides Recovery are very experienced in both areas and have helped hundreds of women find a safe place to heal in Orange County, CA. 

Relationships in Therapy: Finding Romance in Treatment?

relationships in therapy

Rehab can be an intense experience; it’s natural to bond with others during your stay in an addiction treatment facility for drug or alcohol abuse. In a support group, you may find yourself empathizing with others’ stories or relating to them better than you did before. While it is acceptable and even encouraged, to make friends in rehab, is it ever okay to start a romantic relationship in therapy? 

 

Dating In Recovery

If you have ever been addicted to drugs or alcohol, you may have formed unhealthy relationships during that time — and lost them or given them up as you became sober, relationships beyond friends and family members also. The early period of recovery can be lonely as you try to rebuild your life. But is it a good idea to pursue dating while you are getting sober?

For most residential treatment programs, the answer is no

Many rehab programs have a policy in place against finding a romantic partner in your treatment center. It can be complicated to date someone in the early stages of recovery, even if they are also getting sober from drug or alcohol abuse. 

couple sitting with their backs to the camera

Alcoholics Anonymous and its sibling program Narcotics Anonymous also stand against dating in the early days of recovery. Because drug and alcohol abuse warp our perception of the world around us, AA believes that it is essential for us to regain a good understanding of who we are — and what we are looking for in a relationship — before starting to date again.

 

The Risks Of Dating Early In Recovery

You might think that policies against dating someone in treatment are a bit extreme. There can even be benefits to dating someone who is also in recovery since they understand, more intimately than most, what you are going through. 

But there’s a big difference between dating someone when you have been sober for many years and dating someone in the early stages of recovery. This difference can make it problematic or even dangerous to get into a relationship during your time in rehab.

Another reason why many drug and alcohol treatment programs do not allow participants to date one another is the risk of codependency. You might replace your addiction to drugs or alcohol with a “relationship addiction” instead. 

Once you are romance addicted, there are many more issues you have to face. Relationship problems, mental health problems, and more. You may soon find yourself in couples therapy, as well as individual therapy, and drug and alcohol counseling

Rushing into a relationship too early in your recovery can lead to becoming overly dependent on your partner’s affection for your self-esteem. You might also make excuses for your partner’s bad behavior, even when the relationship becomes abusive. In some cases, this practice may even enable you or your partner to relapse into drug or alcohol abuse again.

It’s important to go into any romantic relationship as the best version of yourself. You want to be with a partner who understands and accepts your flaws. For someone in recovery, it is imperative to date someone supportive of your long-term sobriety. However, you also need to make sure you are fully healed from the issues that led to your substance abuse before seeking a critical relationship — especially if you want a healthy relationship that will last.

 

Consequences of Dating During Rehab

Dating too early in your recovery from drug or alcohol abuse can sabotage your healing process. You might develop codependency, or “relationship addiction,” which can lead you to relapse or find yourself in an abusive relationship. Both of these conditions can make it more challenging to recover from substance abuse.

You might also face severe consequences while seeking treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. Since most treatment programs have rules against dating fellow participants in rehab, there can be repercussions for breaking these rules. One study found that 8% of participants were expelled from rehab programs for dating others in their treatment facility.

Most importantly, relationships in therapy and in the early stages of recovery can distract you from what matters: getting better. Your sobriety requires your full attention and effort, especially in the early days. Relationships can be a distraction, either purposefully or incidentally, that makes it more challenging to focus on yourself and heal from the wounds that led to your substance abuse.

c

Likewise, you want to make sure you can give a romantic relationship your total effort and attention. If you or your partner are trying to get sober, you cannot provide the relationship your best shot. That does not mean you necessarily need to end your relationship if you were in one before deciding to get sober. Still, you might find that the relationships you had during your substance abuse no longer serve you in your sobriety.

 

When Can I Date Again?

Relationships in therapy are rarely advised. However, romantic relationships are an essential part of the human experience, and many of us dream of finding a supportive partner to spend our life with. If this sounds like you, you might be wondering when it is okay to start dating again during your sobriety. How will you know when you are ready to start dating again?

The most important thing is that you are secure in your sobriety before you begin dating again. You need to prioritize getting sober over finding a romantic relationship, especially in the early days of recovery. It isn’t fair to you or your partner if you are still at a high risk of relapse. After all, if you have abused substances in the past, you have probably experienced how substance abuse can easily ruin a relationship.

Likewise, you want to ensure that relationship troubles will not derail your recovery if you have an intense emotional experience related to dating, such as a breakup. You need to ensure you have other coping mechanisms to deal with relationship conflict besides turning to drugs or alcohol. These are skills you will learn during rehab.

Because of the rules against dating during rehab, at the very least, you should wait until you are discharged from a rehab program before beginning to date again. For practical reasons, you might also want to wait until you feel equipped to live on your own again. For example, it might be uncomfortable to bring a date back to your place if you live in a shared sober living facility!

Ultimately, you can’t have a healthy relationship if one or both partners are unhealthy. When you are dealing with substance abuse, you are coping with a disease. Like any disease, it needs to be fully treated before you can show up as your best self again. If you want a relationship that will last — and be supportive of your recovery — you should wait until you feel secure in yourself, your communication skills, and your sobriety before beginning to date again.