Meth RelapseFrank Montalvo
What a Relapse Is, How to Prevent it, and Next Steps to Take
Are you part of the 2.5 million people who reported using methamphetamine in the last twelve months? Meth addiction is more common than many people realize — and so is meth relapse. When you enter into substance abuse treatment, there is a lot of talk about meth relapse rates, the role it plays in physical and mental health, and coping skills.
You should know the warning signs and what constitutes a relapse.
Icarus Behavioral Health is here to help you every step of the way. We can assist you with the early days of recovery with a medical detox. Once you are safely through the early days, we can transition you to residential or outpatient treatment.
Treating methamphetamine addiction is multi-faceted and we understand that relapse can be a part of that journey. Keep reading to find out more about meth relapse and how to find effective help at Icarus!
What is a Meth Relapse?
First and foremost, it is important to understand what a meth relapse is and when you may give in to the temptation to use. At Icarus Behavioral Health, we believe that abstinence from substances is the best policy when it comes to addiction treatment. This means that from the time you enter into medical detox all the way until the end of your life, you should never pick up the substance again.
If you use methamphetamines again – even just once – it qualifies as a relapse.
This may be part of why the meth relapse rates are so high, but that does not mean that you have to go down a slippery slope. According to the research, roughly 61 percent of people with a meth addiction will relapse in the first year.
Seeing Relapse as Part of Your Road to Recovery
That statistic may make it seem impossible for you to beat the odds and maintain your new lifestyle without substance abuse. A recovering meth addict may find that they use again after entering into treatment, but it may not mean that they are on a slippery slope back to addiction. Instead, relapse is viewed as part of the process.
The important thing is to get back into therapy, whether that means individual, group, or family therapy. Be open and honest about your relapse with the people closest to you so that you can get the support you need.
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Using Meth to Cope with Other Mental Health Problems
Many times, meth addiction begins with someone trying to cover up other existing mental health concerns. For example, you might have severe depression or anxiety. Turning to methamphetamine use or drugs to self-medicate is common. This is why it is so important to seek treatment for your other conditions so that you are less likely to turn to meth as a coping skill.
In some cases, it might be worthwhile to pursue pharmaceutical intervention to treat mental illness that causes or contributes to your substance abuse. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has authored recent studies on medications that show promise in this regard. You may also require specialized therapy to learn how to cope without the use of meth.
If you think that you may have underlying concerns that contribute to drug use or alcohol dependence, seek help from Icarus Behavioral Health. Not only are we experienced in treating meth addiction and relapse, but we also have experience in mental health for a variety of struggles.
Once you can address the root cause, you are much less likely to turn to other drugs or a crystal meth relapse once your addiction treatment has started.
Why Does a Relapse Take Place?
While we may understand how meth can be used to cope with mental health, it is still important to look at why relapses among methamphetamine abusers happen in the first place. Oftentimes, a relapse occurs after a patient has been discharged from an inpatient rehab facility. Residential programs allow you to explore the underlying causes of your meth addiction in a safe environment.
In other words, it is impossible for you to use drugs or alcohol of any kind while you are under the watchful eye of our staff at Icarus Behavioral Health. It is a completely safe environment where you can survey the contributing factors to your methamphetamine addiction.
The Importance of Measured Transitions Through Treatment
Eventually, you will have to leave the safety of our facility though. This means that all of the stressors of your daily life might come rushing back in. You may have to deal with demanding bosses, difficult family members, and more. Turning to meth might feel like an inescapable option.
If you are discharged from a residential program, do not make the mistake of thinking that your addiction has been healed just because withdrawal symptoms have mostly passed. You should segue into a less restrictive program that offers you the support you need to cope with the stressors of everyday life.
Icarus Behavioral Health makes this easy by offering partial hospitalization and IOP, as well as outpatient programs.
Finding a Program that Works for You
After residential treatment and medical detox, finding ongoing treatment is crucial to long-term success when dealing with drug dependence. Treatment options range from more to less restrictive, depending on what additional treatment you need at this juncture.
Many people will segue into an intensive outpatient program that allows for treatment during the day and heading home at night. This allows them to experience intensive therapeutic services while still interacting with their family on a day-to-day basis. Icarus Behavioral Health offers this treatment program for those who find it helpful to be around supportive family members.
The Levels of Care That Support Effective Recovery
Upon graduation from an intensive outpatient program or IOP, you will likely benefit from ongoing outpatient treatment, at least for a time. This includes ongoing treatment through therapy, group sessions, and possibly 12-step or SMART Recovery meetings. It is the least restrictive form of treatment, allowing you to return to work and routine family life.
Keep in mind that most people who have any type of substance use disorder find it helpful to maintain therapeutic appointments throughout their lifetime. While the frequency with which they visit their counselor may vary, treating addiction should be viewed as a lifelong endeavor.
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Meth Relapse Warning Signs
Beyond weighing the treatment options, it helps to be ultra-aware of what the warning signs of an impending relapse might be. This can help you to form a relapse prevention plan to put measures in place prior to falling back into your addiction. What are the early signs that you might be at risk for a relapse?
First and foremost, you might start feeling overwhelmed with your responsibilities or your relationships. Stressors mount and you might find that they feel unmanageable at a certain point. This might lead you to keep your emotions inside until they reach a fever pitch and can no longer be ignored.
Red Flags and Relapse Behaviors
Other warning signs of an impending meth relapse could include:
- Skipping therapy sessions or group therapy
- Minimizing self-care activities like sleeping and eating
- Ruminating on the sensations or positive aspects of meth use
- Spending time with friends or family members that you used to use with
- Isolating from friends and family
- Seeking opportunities to be near meth
If you find that you fall into any of these categories, it might be time to turn to a relapse prevention plan to minimize your risk.
What Should You Do If You Relapse?
For many people with methamphetamine or cocaine dependence, relapse is a natural part of the recovery process. You should know what to do and how to handle it to prevent yourself from falling back into a serious cycle. Even one use is enough to trigger cravings again and can quickly lead to a loss of control over your substance use.
In the early days of your treatment, you should make a relapse prevention plan that you can consult when issues arise. You might include items on it like who you can call to talk about your strong feelings like a friend, family member, or sponsor. This can be a great coping skill during hours when your therapist may not be available.
Reaching Out to Seek Support After Methamphetamine Relapse
As soon as your therapist is in the office, it might mean that you need to set up an immediate appointment. You could even increase the frequency of your appointments to multiple times a week until you can get through the difficulty of the cravings.
Putting coping skills in place can impact your recovery as well. Some people will want to write down their feelings in a private journal. Others may seek out meditation or affirmations that inspire them to remain sober. Both dialectical behavior therapy and cognitive behavior therapy can help when it comes to putting coping skills in place.
Crafting a Relapse Prevention Plan
In the early days of your treatment at Icarus Behavioral Health, we can help you to put together a robust relapse prevention plan. This helps to clue you into the risk factors that contribute to your substance use and how you can steer clear of the high-risk situations of falling into using again.
Your plan should include the triggers that might cause you to want to use it again. This lets you know where you need to tread more carefully or put more coping skills in place. A trigger could include a specific person, a place that brings up hard memories, or even emotions that lead to substance use.
Once you identify what might trigger you to relapse, you can start to dive into how to manage those feelings effectively. This might include a list of coping skills that you find useful, strategies to improve your mental or physical health, and even people that you can talk with if your therapist is unavailable.
Writing Down Responses to Cravings to Prevent Meth Relapse
Many people also find it useful to create a list of reasons why they want to remain or stay sober. This can be a powerful tool that you return to when tempted to use. It can grow and change over time as new reasons form. This is important to consult when weighing whether drug or alcohol abuse is worthwhile. You should know what you stand to lose by turning to substances.
This is not a static document that never changes over time. In fact, you may want to check in with your relapse prevention plan every few months. Update it with new coping skills that you learned recently and new reasons that encourage you to remain sober. This plan is a living document that should change and grow with you, no matter how far into your sobriety you may be.
Entering into Rehab Programs Following Relapse
Sometimes, it can help to have a refresher on how to remain clean from meth relapse and drug abuse. Single-use meth relapse may not necessitate a medical detox, but you could put yourself back into an inpatient program to maintain your sobriety for a short period of time. However, this may not be the right fit for everyone.
Instead, you might choose to bump up the number of outpatient appointments you have each week so that you have more frequent check-ins with a therapist or licensed counselor. You may choose to attend more 12-step meetings or to practice your coping skills.
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Get the Support of Icarus to Help You Overcome Relapse Today!
There are endless ways that you can choose to handle a meth relapse and drug abuse issues. You may need to experiment to find the solution that will work best for you, your needs, and even your family.
If you are struggling, reach out to Icarus Behavioral Health. We can help you find the services you need to maintain a sober lifestyle. Minimize your risk of crystal meth relapse by reaching out to our skilled team of clinicians to learn more about our services today.
All calls are confidential, so please reach out in confidence and get options today!