Those who have overcome heroin addiction can completely exit the shadow of relapse. No matter how small, the risk of reusing heroin is something former users will always have to actively work on. One important part of many heroin addiction treatment programs in Coconut Creek, FL, is post-exit care, which involves attending therapy and support group sessions after the rehab period formally ends. Participants in group therapy will be acquainted with the kinds of signs people exhibit before relapse. This is where women’s residential treatment programs come in. Substance abuse treatment programs can equip clients with the tools to remain heroin-free. That’s why it is important to be able to identify heroin relapse signs before they progress.
Effects of Heroin Abuse
Just as people begin using heroin for different reasons, they also experience the effects of heroin abuse differently. People who use heroin to manage a mental health issue, like depression or anxiety, are more likely to feel more emotionally hollow during withdrawal.
Being aware of the effects of heroin abuse on an individual can greatly inform the potential triggers they may face when living sober. Experiencing droughts of emotional contentment can open the door back up to heroin usage. Exposure to a friend group that encouraged or distributed heroin can also damage a person’s recovery. This is why the people closest to someone are likely to identify heroin relapse signs first in a domestic setting.
Recognizing Heroin Relapse Signs
Recognizing the signs of heroin relapse before it occurs can save lives. People who live day-to-day with heroin addiction are at a risk that grows with every use. Between heroin overdose and other related health complications, a heroin relapse means that chances of recovery could potentially be shot to pieces. When looking for heroin relapse signs, pay attention to the following:
A change in behavior is commonly the first thing people note when loved ones begin faltering in their sobriety. If you know how the individual acted while using heroin, comparing their behavior can be a strong indicator of relapse.
Heroin use tends to lead to a few distinct physical symptoms, including:
- Slow or erratic breathing
- Constricted pupils
A combination of one or more of these, notably pupil size alteration, are red flags for heroin use.
Heroin relapse also results in emotional instability. Mood swings, heightened anxiety, or depression are all potential signs of struggle with relapse.
People who were previously very social becoming comparatively reclusive can be a sign of a number of things. Alone, this may not indicate relapse. However, in tandem with other signs, it should be a factor in your assessment.
Lack of Commitment to Post-Treatment Care
Consistent failure to attend therapy or support group meetings may be a sign of something bigger. It can be embarrassing to have gone back on sobriety, and as a result, some attendees may find it easier to back out entirely.
Drugs and Paraphernalia
Finding heroin or heroin-related paraphernalia, like needles, spoons, or pipes is a clear-cut indicator of heroin relapse. Finding these is grounds for an intervening act, as the alternative is letting the addiction progress even further.
How to Respond to Heroin Relapse
A heroin relapse is not a failure. Rather, it is a moment to pivot and enter into the journey of recovery with new vigor. Knowing how to respond when someone relapses is essential to maintaining a positive mental health environment. The best way to respond when someone relapses is by showing them love and support, not judgment or criticism. Understanding that addiction is a disease allows friends and family to approach the issue in a more empathetic manner. It is important to remember that drug relapse is not the same as a failure but instead a part of recovery. It is essential to reach out for professional help to manage the release and to learn about relapse prevention therapy.