Relapse is a process not an event.  A professionally trained eye can actually observe the behavioral changes that occur as an addicts brain disease is activated.  It is possible to observe these symptoms and intervene upon them before the person ever picks up a drug or a drink.

Some warning signs to watch out for:

Confusion
Overreaction
Defensiveness
Avoidance

Apathy
Listlessness

Asking for help
Loss of Control
Antagonism
No Solutions
Obvious Denial
No Connection to Support

These are just a list of examples of what a trained eye will pick up in its early stages.  They are all signs that the person is losing the ability to make good decisions and that the areas of the brain that are most ruled by addiction are taking control of the decision making processes.  Typically this begins with some form of unresolved stressor that the addict is in denial about.  They start out feeling believing they can manage the stressor just as those around them and even those with longer periods of recovery do.  This is an easy mistake to make for anyone, especially a person new to recovery.  With a kind, non-confrontational (Confrontation often makes it worse when done improperly) approach this person can resume control of their life before they ever pick up a drug.  When this happens they sometimes have some personal messes to clean up in their lives because of the effects of their relapse behavior, but they have not used alcohol or drugs and the damage is much more minimal and resolvable.  It isn’t until they feel like they go through this process with the result being an addict’s mistaken sense that using is the best way to deal with the current problems that they pick up.  With a little help these symptoms of brain dysfunction can be managed by a professional caring staff who can teach the addict the skills needed to ultimately manage these symptoms long term.

Relapse really is a process, not an event.  At True North Recovery Services, we will teach you to manage the symptoms that precede drug use so that they can be tolerated without making deadly mistakes.