Smaller doses can be deadly. Be aware that, even after many months of treatment, someone in recovery is extremely vulnerable to relapse. The opioid receptors have been re-sensitized, so a much smaller dose of an opioid drug is required to have the same effect than while the person was fully addicted. Thus, a much smaller dose is required to overdose.
Monitor their environment. Relapse can be kicked off by the slightest combination of stress and exposure to an opportunity to use again. Scientists have shown that even exposure to drug paraphernalia can re-trigger a strong urge for the drug. Keep them away from situations that can trigger a relapse.
Understand the signs of addiction and be objective. Someone in relapse can be very convincing that they are not in relapse.
- Be involved in their activities and monitor their actions. Stay aware of their activities and social relationships once they return home. That includes what they do online.
Help them find a peer-supportive home. Try to find a living environment that is supportive – a halfway house or sober living experience where your loved one can be with people going through the same experience.
Be cognizant of negative behaviors resurfacing. Recognize that even after recovery, an addict is still an addict, and can experience shame and be deceptive.
Ask them to get tested. Find a way to maintain a testing regimen, as your loved ones’ desire to not let you down may be the one thing that prevents relapse.
Be aggressive. Get them to attend meetings and gain a sponsor.
A gradual transition is key. Move them gradually into normal life situations.