10 Signs of a Heroin Relapse
Isolation and emotional distress are just two of the many signs of a heroin relapse
It is important to understand the dangers of heroin addiction and also what the signs of a heroin addiction relapse are. Addiction to heroin causes multiple problems for the addict that affects every area of his or her life. Many people have been able to recover from heroin addiction and are leading healthy lives, but the possibility of a relapse can occur for people who are not fully grounded, and can still be swayed by outside and inside forces. Environment factors and personal thoughts and emotions all play a part in a heroin relapse. There are ways to prevent a heroin relapse, and there are signs that reveal if a heroin relapse is taking place. Some of the signs that a heroin relapse may be occurring include:
- An addict may begin to think that he can control an occasional or limited use of heroin and not fall back into addiction. He forgets all the problems he had as an addict or he begins to think that he can control these situations from happening again. He believes that by mere will power he will be able to prevent these problems from occurring again, but he is only deceiving himself. He cannot prevent a heroin relapse by sheer will alone.
- When an addict denies that he is vulnerable from the grip of heroin he may try using the drug again. The fact is that prolonged heroin use changes the physical structure of the brain that creates long-term imbalances. The destruction of the white matter of the brain impairs the addict’s ability to make sound judgments and decisions. Heroin also alters the way the addict responds to stressful situations and this in turn affects his behavior. Recovering addicts must remember that their decision-making abilities have been altered and they must adhere to heroin addiction relapse prevention techniques to be safe.
- Participation in support group meetings on a regular basis is one vital element that helps to prevent heroin relapse. Meeting with his peers adds to his social life and offers a basis for reviewing sound judgments on his life. If the addict starts to falter in his thinking or behavior, his counselor or peers will hold him accountable and encourage him to return to the safe zone and avoid a heroin addiction relapse.
- Another sign of a heroin relapse is when an addict begins to associate with other addicts or visits places where heroin or other drugs are used. This is a dangerous place of temptation for an addict to be and he should remove himself from these people and places immediately or he will most probably relapse, whether he believes it or not.
- If an addict weakens and succumbs to the effects of heroin cravings, he may believe that his recovery didn’t work and he may start using again. Relapse prevention techniques are designed to help the addict get through times such as these. Cravings for heroin can still occur but that does not mean that the addict isn’t in the process of recovery or that his recovery isn’t working.
- Another sign of a heroin relapse is that the addict begins to neglect his health by not eating nutritious meals, and not getting enough sleep and exercise. His body must remain strong for him to be able to think clearly and stay on the path of sobriety.
- A heroin relapse can occur if the addict is not taking care of his spiritual self. He must have a sense of well-being and not be fearful and filled with emotional neediness. The recovering addict must realize that his true identity is not the person who takes heroin, but that he is a person of self-possessed power, integrity, love and purpose. When he believes these things about himself he will be able to manifest these characteristics and begin to help himself and others.
- If the recovering addict begins to show signs of emotional distress that are expressed with extreme mood swings, anger, hostility, fear and guilt, he may be having a heroin relapse. He may begin lying, manipulating and become secretive again. If he reverts back to his former ways of thinking and behavior he is on unstable ground. He will need a strong support system to get him back to where he needs to be to abort a heroin relapse.
- Another sign of a heroin relapse is that the addict is in financial trouble and keeps asking to borrow money. He may start to steal money from family and friends, or commit criminal acts to feed his habit. He may have lost his job and cannot pay his bills.
- Changes in the physical appearance is another clue of a heroin addiction relapse. The addict may have dirty, wrinkled clothing, and smell of body odor because of a lack of bathing. He may be neglecting his need for a haircut or shave. Women also may begin to look forlorn and unkempt. Addicts may have dilated pupils, begin to lose weight and show signs of fatigue and confusion.
Recovery from heroin addiction is a long-term process that at times will be difficult for the recovering addict. To prevent a heroin relapse from occurring, the addict must remain in his aftercare recovery program and utilize all the information and techniques he has learned to keep him sober and moving forward. With the continual indoctrination of wellness, the recovering addict will be able to overcome heroin addiction, prevent relapse and begin to live a happy, productive life.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.