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Avoiding Relapse While Living with an Addict

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Relapse prevention is on the forefront of every recovering addict’s mind. Relapse, for better or worse, is a part of the recovery process. Very few individuals get it right on their very first try. Life is too complicated.

There are so many influences out there leading the recovering addict to abuse drugs or alcohol again, from their brain chemistry to a self-defeating lifestyle to a co-occurring disorder to simply being the child of an addict. These external factors all have an impact on one’s ability to stay sober. Dedicated relapse prevention takes careful preparation and planning, not to mention stalwart commitment in order to achieve maximum effectiveness.

Ways of Avoiding Relapse

In light of the rapidly approaching holiday season, the counselors at Destination Hope wanted to “give back” in the best way they know how – by answering some of the most common questions they receive with regard to relapse prevention and living/associating with people who are abusing drugs and alcohol.

Q: What do you do if you’re in recovery and living with someone in active addiction?

DH: First piece of advice, RUN!!! Run fast and run far! In addition, set firm boundaries with all individuals in your life. Attend Al-anon and/or Nar-anon meetings to better prepare yourself for your life as a person in recovery when faced with those in active addiction. Relapse prevention means taking care of your recovery.

That is your responsibility, no one else’s. Go to meetings, get a sponsor, find a support group, you will need all of those things desperately if you make the ill-advised decision to live with an addict that is abusing drugs and alcohol while you’re in recovery. But seriously, RUN!

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Q: What if the substance abuser is your spouse or your child?

DH: Setting firm boundaries includes telling loved ones like your spouse or your child to get help or get out. Either they get out or you get out. Sitting in is not a viable solution for anyone. Again, you cannot be responsible for anyone else’s recovery while focusing on your own relapse prevention.

Q: What if you need the income to help pay the rent?

DH: What’s more important, the rent or your life? Needing financial assistance is not a good enough reason to stay in a home with someone who is abusing drugs or alcohol. It’s imperative that your home be as stress-free and obviously substance-free as possible to support your own recovery efforts. Living with someone that has relapsed and is in active addiction makes this impossible.

If finances are that critical, find another option. Stay with a friend, a family member, contact your sponsor and support groups for suggestions on a safe place to stay within your budget. If there is no availability anywhere, contact a shelter. They will take you in and help you get on your feet. Staying in that house, threatening your life and your recovery is NOT a viable option.

All of the questions above emphasize why dealing with the disease of addiction is so difficult. Relapse prevention is a huge focus of the recovery process because, let’s face it, relapse is part of addiction. Destination Hope is a Joint Commission accredited drug, alcohol and dual diagnosis treatment facility for substance abuse in South Florida.

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We can teach you the necessary life skills to address and replace the old thought patterns and behaviors that supported your addiction. If there’s anything we can do to assist you in your recovery efforts or help get you back on the path to sobriety after a relapse, please call us today. We can provide all of the support you need to make it stick.

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