Confronting someone for any matter is always a difficult task, but when you’re confronting someone on a deeply personal issue about sobriety, it can sometimes seem impossible. If you’ve never personally dealt with an addict, it’s imperative to tread lightly when confronting them. If they have been sober for a short amount of time, it’s easy to have doubts about the longevity of their sobriety, but it’s important to always show support. Each day sober is an accomplishment and should be celebrated. However, that doesn’t mean to turn a blind eye to behavior traits and patterns that are important when looking for signs of relapse.
What happens when someone has been sober for ten plus years? Are they not susceptible to relapse? Although, as the saying goes: Once an addict, always an addict; and those ten years are a phenomenal accomplishment but that doesn’t mean they are immune to a relapse.
No matter what stage of sobriety someone you love is in, they are most likely going to be defensive. They are going to be hurt that you don’t have faith in them or that you question their strength. It’s important to remember that addiction is a disease and it’s not their will power that you are concerned about, but the chance that they could possibly become sick again. Healthy people go to the doctor less than sick people, but they go for their yearly check-ups nonetheless.
- Know the signs. If it’s someone you know personally, or have had experience when they were using previously, it’s easy to see similar patterns in their behavior that mimic the past. It’s also important to research signs of substance abuse because there are many physical cues that are easy to spot right away.
- Have a plan. Emotion controls so much of our everyday life. It’s easy to erupt at the first sight of something that makes you upset, but it’s always important to have a rational approach to fixing it. If it helps, make bullet points about what you’ve noticed or how you’d like to approach someone with a potential relapse. The stronger the plan in front of you is, the easier it will be to not waiver when defended.
- Go Easy. This is an extremely sensitive subject. Remind them how much you care about them personally, praise their success and point out all of the goals they have already accomplished. These loved ones are human. They are people. They are your friends, they are your family members, and they are your significant others. Talk to them. Ask them how they’re doing. Allow them to be honest with you and remind them that you are there to help, not punish them.
It’s a scary thing to be questioning whether someone you love is relapsing or on their way to falling off. It’s best to be practical and not let emotions get the best of you when confronting someone you love or someone you want to help. Always have a plan and resources readily available.
If you or someone you love is on the verge of a relapse, call Step One Rehab at 888-943-7062 to discuss options in placement for a recovery program tailored specifically for your needs.
By: Erica T.