Putting a HALT to Readdiction and Relapse.

Recently we have heard from parents who have gone through divorce and who have secondary custody to a drug addict and/or an alcoholic. Those who have shared their story with us have acknowledged that at times their ex spouse have made the attempt at sobriety with some success but the probability of relapse is extremely high for these individuals.

When a recovering addict has pain and/or sleep issues, medical professionals need to be careful on what it is that the recovering addict can or cannot be prescribed.

Authorities on addiction, like AA and Alanon say that an alcoholic/addict has  a sometimes fatal illness that  can be arrested but NEVER “cured”.  The disease is “incurable”.  However, with help, it can go into “remission” (or recovery) and remain in “remission”, if the alcoholic/addict stops drinking/drugging and continuously works a recovery program, such as AA or Alanon, etc

These programs also speak to life dangers that signal a risk of recurrence of the active illness, using the acronym: HALT, as a collection of generic warning signals:

H = HUNGRY   A= ANGRY   L= LONELY   T= TIRED

A recovering addict/alcoholic is at greater risk of a “slip” into addictive activities when any one or more of these single symptoms is present, is unrecognized (denial) and un-dealt with by the recovering addict/alcoholic.  There is also the risk of re-addiction by medical persons who don’t fully understand addictions and  the terrible risk for a recovering addict when they prescribe sleeping pills, sedatives, tranquilizers, etc.  AA/Alanon call it “taking one’s booze in pill form.”  Addicts are particularly sensitive to these medications that sedate their brain and make their resolve to live soberly less strong.  A “slip” is very common  in recovery.

Addiction is one of the toughest diseases to combat.  Recovery programs say, stop feeling guilty/ashamed, start going to meetings, stop drugging/drinking and start to live soberly again with AA/Alanon program support.

It isn’t easy to cope with these illnesses, but it is vitally important to the addict and his/her family.

Additional credit to Dr. Jerome Collins

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