When drug metabolites are released back into an individual’s blood stream they can suffer from drug restimulation, a leading factor of relapse.
In this post we are going to go over one of the primary causes of relapse: physical cravings for drugs or alcohol. When an individual takes drugs or alcohol in excess for an extended period of time their body becomes physically reliant on the substance and they develop a psychological dependence as well. When the addicted individual stops using, they develop negative effects known as withdrawal symptoms. The initial stage of the withdrawal process is known as “active withdrawals”. This phase of the withdrawal process is what most addicted individuals are familiar with; the feelings of sickness, severe flu like symptoms, increased anxiety, problems sleeping, mood swings, etc. While most people are under the impression that they have detoxed once these initial withdrawal symptoms have subsided; the truth is there are often inactive or suppressed withdrawal symptoms that last several weeks or even months after the active withdrawal period is over.
The second stage of withdrawal is often overlooked and not easily recognized. This inactive withdrawal period can produce drug using thoughts and cravings in the recovering individual that can lead them to relapse. Narconon Fresh Start addresses both stages of the withdrawal process using their innovative detoxification method. This unique detox and purification method effectively flushes the accumulated toxins (drug metabolites) from the client’s fat cells in their body. If the accumulated toxins are not removed, they can be released back into the individual’s body long after they are no longer active in their blood stream. This process takes place when very small drug particles are released on a cellular level when the individual’s fat cells are used for expending energy during physical activity or times of stress. The release of these drug metabolites can bring about drug cravings and the compulsion to use again. Individuals who have experienced this phenomenon have stated that it is as though they can taste or smell the drug, even thought they have not used.
At Narconon Fresh Start, we call this drug restimulation. When this happens, the recovering individual is prone to relapse due to the cravings and compulsion to use they are experiencing. A key element of the drug rehab program is the removal of these drug toxins. Graduates of Narconon Fresh Start no longer suffer physical drug cravings or compulsions to use because of the New Life Detoxification Program that is incorporated into the recovery process. Also known as the sauna detoxification program, this process effectively flushes out the remaining drug metabolites and puts an end to the inactive withdrawal period.
I feel really good about my sauna program this time. The New Life Detoxification Program has helped me in the past when I first came to Rainbow Canyon Retreat years ago. I know that the benefits I achieved then have been accomplished them time around and that I am toxin free again. I wish I hadn’t relapsed but…I did and going through the dry sauna program again has helped me back on my road to lasting sobriety. This time around, I took my time and did it right. I didn’t hide any of my reactions during the detox process. I became very in tune with how my body reacts to different things and how my body functions overall. This is a very empowering feeling and I’m so glad I did it.
Not all rehab centers are the same; each rehab may differ significantly in philosophies, program options, credentials, staff skills, qualifications, and cost. The way to tell which rehab center is the most effective is to see how they treat their program participants. For instance, some programs only see their clients as statistics while other drug rehab treatment programs will see them as an individual and make sure their program meets each program participant’s needs as they work through their recovery process. In addition, they will answer questions about how their specific rehab operates by keeping all of their program information accessible to the client and their loved ones.
Highly successful drug rehabs have programs involve the recovering individual’s family. This is because their family members may have been affected by the program participant’s addiction issues and need help healing as well as learning new ways to interact with their loved one when they complete treatment. An effective drug rehab treatment plan will include drug and alcohol education too. This means the recovering addict will learn about the effects of drugs and alcohol and what drove them to abuse drugs in the first place. Being educated about their drug and alcohol addiction issues will help the recovering person to overcome their dependence problem as well as learn how to avoid future relapses.
The primary part of a drug rehab program is to help individuals get off the addictive substances they are dependent on. The second, which is just as important, is to teach individuals how to stay drug-free when they return to their day to day life. Knowing how to remain sober and prevent a relapse from taking place is a crucial part of the recovery process. Without it, the newly recovered person is essentially defenseless against their own inner compulsions, cravings and the influence of others around them.
While not everyone who completes treatment will feel compelled to use again, a majority of newly recovered people usually feel a slight internal struggle to continue to make healthy choices the first few months (or even year) after they complete their drug rehab program. This is a very strenuous time for the newly recovered individual. This period of their sobriety is centered on putting into practice all the new life skills and relapse prevention techniques they learned in treatment.
Remaining sober is not a static situation; it is actually an ongoing process with many ups and downs along the way. If a relapse takes place it is likely because the individual’s thoughts, attitude and behavior have reverted back to how they were before treatment. While a relapse can occur at any point in a recovered person’s lifetime, it is more likely to take place earlier in their sobriety. This is because earlier in one’s recovery process the habits and attitudes needed for continued sobriety, skills required to replace substance use, and the ability to identify with positive peers are not firmly set in stone. This leaves the recovering individual vulnerable to relapse. Relapse does not need to be part of one’s recovery process to find lasting sobriety; but if one stumbles during the months or years after treatment they should not be ashamed or embarrassed.
When a person succumbs to relapse it is not something that happens in the blink of an eye; they are not suddenly struck drunk or stoned on drugs. There are numerous warning signs to watch out for before a relapse actually takes place. Drug rehab programs like Narconon Fresh Start include the common relapse warning signs and prevention techniques in the education they teach their clients during their time in treatment.
Narconon Fresh Start programs teach their program participants how to recognize relapse warning signs and what they can do to address them before they develop into larger problems. Generally speaking, there is seldom just one warning sign. Usually a series of warning signs build one on the other to create the perfect storm for an alcohol or drug relapse. It is the cumulative effect that wears the individual down; the final warning sign is simply the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Unfortunately many individuals who relapse think it is the last warning sign that did it. As a result they do not look for the earlier and more subtle warning signs that set the stage for the final disaster.
When it comes to relapse prevention, several situations may lead to relapse; social and peer pressure or anxiety and depression.
A person may experience a relapse because:
- of their desire to test personal control over drug or alcohol use
- they put themselves in “high-risk situations”
- they lack the necessary skills to deal with interpersonal conflict and/or negative emotions
- do not have the skills to deal with social pressure to use substances
- they experience physical or psychological reminders of past drug or alcohol use (e.g., drug paraphernalia, drug-using friends, money)
- they have recurrent thoughts or physical desires to use drugs or alcohol
If you or a loved one is struggling with sobriety, call a Narconon Fresh Start specialist today to find out how we can help you break free from addiction.
While getting treatment for your addiction problem is a necessary step in your recovery process, having a supportive group of friends and family members to help you navigate your new lifestyle, face challenges and handle your unique set of needs and obstacles is critical for maintaining your sobriety. Having support from people who care about your wellbeing during rehab as well as after completing treatment has shown to increase the individual’s health, happiness, desire to stay sober and prevents relapse.
Associating with people who have your best interest at heart is going to help prevent you from falling back into old habits and participating in self-destructive behavior. Spending time with your previous drug using friends and acquaintances puts you in the difficult position of having to refuse use drugs or alcohol. As a newly recovered addict, why make life harder for yourself? Make the choice to wish your past drug or alcohol using buddies a fond farewell and develop new friendships with other people who choose to be drug-free and sober.
For those who have an addict in their life and don’t know what to do to help, showing support for the addicted person and letting them know that you are there and willing to help them get the treatment they need goes a long way. The addicted person may even recognize their addiction problem and become open to the idea of getting treatment now that they know they are not going to be alone during the process. While recovering from addiction is not easy, knowing that they have people willing to stand by their side, who they can turn to for encouragement and guidance can make the journey easier to travel.