How Do I Know If My Loved One Has Really Changed After Rehab?
When your loved one returns from addiction rehab, you may wonder whether or not he has changed as a result of his treatment or if he is reverting back to playing a game with you. Many loved ones worry about being duped again. Addicts are masters at manipulation, so you naturally fear that he would take advantage of you again. This apprehension is normal. The good news is that your loved one’s behavior will give you clues that will show you whether or not he is continuing on the path of recovery from drugs like clonazepam.
The After-Care Plan
One of the major aspects of addiction recovery is the after-care plan. This is a strategy for dealing with challenging situations after rehab as well as a pledge to participate in activities that will help them continue in their recovery. This after-care plan is especially important in the first few days and weeks after your loved one returns home. Elements of an after-care plan include the following:
- Finding and remaining in a support group
- Plans for physical fitness
- Strategy for avoiding old drug-using friends or drug-friendly places
- Escape plan for triggers
- Activity options to avoid boredom
- Recovery journal
- Relaxation strategies
- Making new friends who support sobriety
If your loved one is following his aftercare plan, some of these elements will be evident. For example, you will see him exercise. You might see him writing in a journal or ask you for a ride to a Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meeting. You may even see him develop new friendships or renew others that will encourage his continued recovery.
Look for Signs of Relapse
Relapse doesn’t always happen unexpectedly. Your loved one won’t likely start taking drugs like clonazepam out of the blue. Usually a person gradually slips into relapse. In fact relapse typically follows a pattern. The pattern of the relapse process includes the following:
- Your loved one will stop making progress in recovery.
- He will ignore the signs that he is no longer making progress in recovery.
- His lack of progress will feel internal discomfort.
- A trigger provides the opportunity for the internal discomfort to present itself.
- Your loved one will experience continued emotional distress.
- Feeling overwhelmed and out of control, he will remember that drugs allowed him to escape his difficulties.
- Motivation for sobriety no longer provides enough impetus to keep temptation at bay.
- Your loved one uses drugs like clonazepam again.
During this process your loved one will likely show signs that a relapse may be in progress. For example, complacency is one of the most common reasons for relapse according to a 2013 article from Psych Central. Other relapse signs include the following:
- He stops going to support group meetings.
- He starts acting selfish and moody.
- He becomes overconfident about his recovery thinking he could never relapse.
- He feels stuck in recovery like he isn’t making any progress in recovery.
- He starts hanging out at old drug-friendly places
- He feels like he cannot cope with the stresses in his life.
- He starts talking to old friends who still use drugs.
- He gets defensive when you ask him about the changes in his behavior.
Even if your loved one has relapsed, do not see this as a sign that rehab didn’t work or that your loved one has abandoned his recovery. According to a 2012 article from Psychology Today, approximately 70-90 percent of recovering addicts experience one mild or moderate slip or relapse in their recovery. If your loved one admits to having relapsed, talk with him about how to get back on the path of recovery. This may involve adjusting the after-care plan, talking to a therapist, adjusting medication or going to more peer-help groups. In some instances he might need to repeat the rehab program to reinforce the principles he learned. Many people attend rehab more than once, so this is not a sign of failure.
One of the important aspects of addiction recovery is healthy self-care. According to a 1998 article in Qualitative Health Research, the basic problem of addiction is self-destructive self-care. In other words, a person will use drugs in an attempt to take care of himself. He will abuse substances like clonazepam to manage emotional pain or trauma. Rehab teaches a recovering addict how to engage in healthy self-care rather than maladaptive care. Self-care activities include the following:
- Listening to music
- Getting a massage
- Taking care of personal hygiene
- Trying a new activity
- Accepting and voicing your feelings
- Taking a nap
- Talking to a friend
- Watching an inspiring movie
- Drawing, painting or other art activities
There are dozens of other activities that your loved one could engage in as a means of healthy self-care. Most of all your loved one will begin to develop and express self-love and self-acceptance. These are two key components of addiction recovery.
Getting Help for Your Addiction
If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs like clonazepam, we can help. You can call our toll-free helpline any time, 24 hours a day. One of our admissions coordinators can talk with you about any concerns and symptoms you are experiencing or see in your loved one. Together you can determine the best treatment options for your situation. We can even help you determine a place that may be best for someone who is prone to relapsing. Don’t allow drugs to control your life any longer. Call us today, and start on the path of recovery.