Alcohol Overdose Symptoms

Alcohol Overdose Symptoms

Alcohol Overdose SymptomsDrinking is common. Drinking happens at parties, holidays, while cheering on our favorite sports teams and even during common activities. And while drinking is accepted and totally normal it can become dangerous if someone is drinking to excess which even at these events can happen.

Many people enjoy drinking moderately. Drinking moderately is defined as having 1 drink per day for women and 2 for men. Drinking more than moderately or drinking too much can lead to an alcohol overdose. Alcohol overdose happens when a person has blood alcohol content (BAC) sufficient enough to produce impairments that increase the risk of them harming themselves and even others. Alcohol overdoses can range in severity from problems with balance and slurred speech to even coma or death. Age, drinking experience, gender and the amount of food eaten as well as ethnicity can all influence how much alcohol is too much.

So how do you know how much is too much? What are the alcohol overdose symptoms?

Critical or severe alcohol overdose symptoms include:

  • Mental confusion, stupor, coma, or inability to wake up
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Slow breathing (fewer than 8 breaths per minute)
  • Irregular breathing (10 seconds or more between breaths)
  • Hypothermia (low body temperature), bluish skin color, paleness

Other alcohol overdose symptoms include:

  • Knowing the person has consumed large quantities of alcohol
  • The person is unconscious and cannot be woken up
  • Person vomits while passed and does not wake up during or after

Know the danger signals or signs that someone is getting close to an alcohol overdose can help significantly in preventing an alcohol overdose. Someone who has a severe impairment but is not exhibiting life threatening symptoms will have signs such as:

  • Speech, memory, coordination, attention, reaction time, balance problems
  • Judgment and decision making will be severely impaired
  • Vomiting and other signs of alcohol poisoning
  • The beginning stages of loss of consciousness

What will happen if someone who has alcohol overdose symptoms and doesn’t get treated?

  • They could end up choking on their own vomit
  • Breathing that slows, become irregular, or stops
  • Heart that beats irregularly stops
  • Hypothermia can lead to death
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) leads to seizures
  • Untreated severe dehydration from vomiting which can cause seizures, permanent brain damage and death.

Alcohol overdose symptoms are extremely dangerous and should be taken very seriously. Someone who is experiencing any alcohol overdose symptoms should be taken to a hospital immediately or 911 should be called. Here are some things you can do if you know someone is experiencing alcohol overdose symptoms:

1. Try to wake the person. Try to wake the person by calling their name, slapping their face, or pinching their skin. See if you can get a reaction that will wake the person up. Remember, just because they wake up doesn’t mean they are fine. Alcohol stays in the bloodstream until it is processed and just because you can get some reaction at 1:00 AM doesn’t mean they will still be conscious by 2:00 AM. Do not leave the person alone.

2. Check the person’s breathing. Evaluate if the person has slow or irregular breaths; less than 8 times per minute or more than 10 seconds between breaths. If they are not conscious or barely able to wake up, we need to make sure they don’t choke on their own vomit.

3. Turn the person on his/her side to prevent choking. If they are not conscious or barely able to wake up, we begin by making sure they don’t choke on their vomit. Start by putting their arm above their head. Bend their opposite knee and roll them toward you so that they are laying on their side, preferably their left side. Putting the person on their left side will slow the delivery of alcohol to the small intestine and also allows more air to surface from the right lung. This way, if they do throw up, the vomit will have a better chance of coming out.

4. Do not leave the person alone. Although it might be inconvenient, it is important to stay with someone who is extremely drunk and barely conscious. Continue to monitor their breathing, responsiveness, skin and lip color, etc.

5. If any of signs of alcohol poisoning exist, call 911

http://www.bacchusnetwork.org/poisoning-signs-symptoms.html

http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/AlcoholOverdoseFactsheet/Overdosefact.htm

How to Help a Chronic Relapser

How to Help a Chronic Relapser

What is a Relapse?

Relapse is resuming the use of a drug or a chemical substance after one or more periods of abstinence; a recurrence of symptoms of a disease (addiction) after a period of improvement; to slip or fall back into a former worse state (active addiction).

What is a Chronic Relapser?

Many addicts have a lifetime of drug and alcohol abuse but have never actually attempted to get sober. What makes chronic relapsers distinct is that they have tried and failed at maintaining sobriety many times over.

Profile of the Chronic Relapser

  • Numerous failed attempts at sobriety, or a return to drugs/alcohol after a substantial period of sobriety
  • Unable to maintain sobriety despite having a wealth of knowledge about addiction and recovery
  • Continued substance use despite significant, severe and repeated consequences
  • Chronic relapsers often feel hopeless that they will ever find lasting sobriety
  • Multiple treatment episodes, including psychiatric treatment, detox, residential, outpatient, and halfway houses
  • Significant exposure, attendance and/or participation in 12-Step programs. Chronic relapsers have a history of repeatedly working Steps 1, 2 and 3, but have never completed all 12
  • Treatment-savvy have learned to navigate their way through the treatment industry to meet their own agenda
  • A unique talent to exhaust the financial resources and emotional support of loved ones. Chronic relapsers leave their loved ones depleted of energy and emotional resources
  • As with most addicts, a pervasive cluster of personality characteristics are frequently exaggerated in the chronic relapser; they are very charming, intelligent, manipulative, convincing, deceitful, lovable, talented and passionate; chronic relapsers have mastered the art of survival, in and out of treatment.

How to Help a Chronic Relapser

Below are ways to get involve, support, and encourage successful recovery for a chronic relapser.

Encourage a long-term length of stay. It is a well-established fact that long-term treatment increases the chances of lasting sobriety. It is important to define the term “long-term treatment” as in a length of stay in excess of nine months. It can take a chronic relapser three to six months to wake up out of the fog in which they have been living. Post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) is very significant in chronic relapsers and frequently interferes considerably with their ability to comprehend recovery principles in early sobriety.

Remove outside distractions. Chronic relapsers are masters at distracting themselves and others from seeing the truth about them. It is essential to remove all things they use to change the way they feel and to force them to sit in their own skin.  It is well within the boundaries the treatment center to limit distractions through therapeutic contracts, clear-cut facility rules and guidelines, and limited family contact. As a loved one or family member of a chronic relapser, be aware that you may be asked not to visit early on or often throughout treatment.

Emphasize the mental and spiritual nature of the disease. It is essential that chronic relapsers understand they have a disease of the mind body and spirit, and that the solution through the 12 Steps is spiritual in nature.

Be active in getting your own treatment. In most cases, the family has participated in the progression of the illness in the chronic relapser through intense enabling behaviors. Therapy for the family cannot just be a suggestion; it must be non-negotiable. Get involved with Al-Anon or Nar-Anon and consider counseling for yourself and other family members.

Put an end to enabling. Family leverage is usually the most significant in keeping a chronic relapser in long-term treatment. Chronic relapsers must recognize in no uncertain terms that they will not receive any emotional or financial support from their family if they do not complete long-term treatment or remain sober.

Stay one step ahead. It has been established that chronic relapsers are treatment-savvy, tricky and highly manipulative. When you, as the family, do get to speak and/or visit the chronic relapser, don’t take what they say at face value. Don’t give them an inch.

Emphasize that they work all 12 Steps with a sponsor. It is important that working the 12 Steps is not just a suggestion, but a requirement. These individuals must be held accountable to obtain a sponsor and work all 12 Steps while they are still in treatment.

Be relentless with accountability. Treatment for the chronic relapser should include a constant emphasis on accountability, responsibility and consistency. It is essential that there be rules, limits, boundaries and consequences with chronic relapsers. Family and friends can support but knowing what is expected of their loved one and reinforcing these policies and practices in their encounters with the chronic relapser.

Sources:

http://www.addictionpro.com/

http://www.merriam-webster.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org

 

What is Recovery?

What is Recovery?

Recovery from addiction is a journey not a destination. Addiction does not happen overnight, it takes time, therefore recovery also takes time. Addiction and alcoholism are defined as diseases. Addiction is the physical dependence on any mind or mood altering substance and the continued use regardless of consequences. Addiction is not a moral deficiency but rather a disease of the mind, body and spirit. Most people who become addicted cannot using drugs or drinking simply because they want to or “will” themselves to. Most people who suffer from addiction or alcoholism must seek outside help or an outside solution rather to help them get sober and then remain sober as they journey into recovery.

Sobriety is the cessation of drug use or drinking after an addiction has been formed. In order to remain sober addicts and alcoholics must find help from an outside source because they cannot find sobriety or gain sobriety on their own. Most of the time addicts and alcoholics who want to be in sobriety have tried many times to be sober on their own and have not been capable of it. This is why drug and alcohol treatment centers are available to anyone suffering with disease of alcoholism or addiction. Sobriety and the help to get sober is offered in the form of detox, inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, and support groups at these drug and alcohol treatment centers. Sobriety is not recovery though and in order to truly recover from the disease of alcoholism and addiction something more than just drug and alcohol treatment must be completed. This is where some kind of solution based therapy comes into play in order for the journey to recovery to begin.

Most people who want recovery begin by looking into 12 step programs because the term recovered is used in such self-help groups. Recovery is not only just the cessation of drug use and drinking but also the ability to live life effectively and usefully without the use of drugs and alcohol. This is why recovery is a lifestyle and not so much a destination that people reach once they get sober. Recovery is a way of living. More people than not find recovery in their 12 step fellowship such as AA or NA because it treats all three aspects of the disease of addiction. 12 step fellowships offer recovery because they give the addict or alcoholic not only the chance to stay sober but also steps to live a more effective and useful life. The 12 step programs of recovery offer a spiritual solution to a disease which includes a spiritual malady or maladjustment to life.

Recovery begins as soon as an addict or alcoholic’s behavior, ideals, ideas, thoughts, and actions change for the better. Recovery is not merely living life and battling against wanting to use drugs but finding the solution so they may never thinking of drugs or drinking again. Recovery allows this because it teaches a new way of life.

 

3 Ways You Are Enabling Newcomers

3 Ways You Are Enabling Newcomers

Most of the time when you think of enabling and enablers, especially when it comes to addicts and alcoholics you think of the family or loved ones. But enabling is something that can happen between any people in any type of relationship, including the relationship between newcomers and people with more clean time.

So what is enabling?

Enabling is “removing the natural consequences to the newcomer of his or her behavior.” People with more clean time will often feel compelled to solve a newcomer’s problems. If they’re involved with them deeply, they usually end up taking on the irresponsible addict’s responsibilities. Their behavior starts as a well-intentioned desire to help, but in later stages of addiction, they act out of desperation. The dynamics between friends, newcomer and person with more clean time or even sponsor and sponsee, become skewed, so that the person with more clean time increasingly over-functions and the newcomer increasingly under-functions. This builds resentment on both sides, along with the newcomer’s expectation that the person with more clean time will continue to make things right when they doesn’t meet his or her responsibilities.

Here are 3 ways you are enabling newcomers:

  • Giving them money: Most newcomers are broke. For the most part this is usually true. They have no job and have been scrounging up money most of their lives to fund their drinking or using habit. It can seem really tempting to give a newcomer money but this is enabling them. A newcomer needs to learn how to stand on their own two feet, especially when it comes to money. They should be finding a job and won’t have the drive or desperation to if they aren’t suffering the consequences of having no money.
  • Fulfilling their commitments to others: If a newcomer has made a commitment to be somewhere and can’t show up you don’t show up for them. You also don’t save them if for some reason they want to flake out on a ride somewhere. A way you are enabling a newcomer is by making excuses for them. Let them handle their own responsibilities and suffer the consequences if they are being accountable. This is how a newcomer will learn.
  • Bailing them out of jail: If for whatever reason a newcomer you know relapses and goes to jail or relapses in a halfway house and has nowhere to go. Enabling is letting them stay in the halfway house and enabling is bailing them out of jail. This is another scenario where letting them suffer the consequences is when they will learn. It is not your job to save them or make sure they don’t have to deal with the pain of their decisions. If a newcomer chooses to relapse they know the rules of the halfway house and the law so if they end up paying for that; they should deal with the consequences.

Enabling a newcomer can be very dangerous because they are teetering a fine line of trying to stay sober but not sure if they want to be sober. Enabling can make it easy for them to do what they want and stay in sick behavior. They will begin getting well when they have to suffer their own consequences and learn from their mistakes instead of being saved from them.

 

 

5 Ways you’re Losing Touch with Your Recovery

5 Ways You're Losing Touch With Your Recovery

5 Ways you’re Losing Touch with Your Recovery

Unfortunately, many recovering addicts and alcoholics need to learn lessons the hard way. We want to recover our way. We want an easier, softer way.  We get comfortable in recovery and stop doing the things that got us clean and sober in the first place. Sometimes when this happens, we relapse. Other times, we simply get miserable until we are ready to make a change. Here are some ways you could be losing touch with your recovery:

5 Ways you’re Losing Touch with Your Recovery: You stop going to meetings

Once you have a little time sober, it gets easy to find excuses not to go to meetings. Life gets busy. You start to make excuses. You’re feeling better and you don’t really think you need them anymore. Maybe you tell yourself you don’t like a particular meeting or the people who frequent it. Maybe you convince yourself that meetings actually make you feel worse, because people are talking about drugs and alcohol all the time. Whatever the excuse, it comes down to the same thing: fewer meetings. This is one of the first ways you’re losing touch with your recovery.

5 Ways you’re Losing Touch with Your Recovery: You stop praying and meditating

Conscious contact with a higher power is one of the first things to go when you’re losing touch with your recovery. It’s easy to get lazy about prayer and meditation. The only one to keep you accountable in this aspect is you. You may start feeling unhappy and not even realize that your lack of conscious contact is the cause. Maybe you start to feel resentful towards your higher power.

5 Ways you’re Losing Touch with Your Recovery: Your ego comes back

It has been said that a spiritual experience is the death of ego. Maybe you’ve already had a spiritual experience but slowly but surely your ego starts to creep back in. You start to compare yourself to others, and feel above them. You are not open to suggestions, and you are not checking your actions with anyone else.

5 Ways you’re Losing Touch with Your Recovery: You slip into old behaviors

One of the ways you’re losing touch with your recovery could be that you are slipping back into old patterns of behavior. You may start to be dishonest. It starts off small, little white lies, and you don’t think it’s such a big deal. Pretty soon you are hiding things from everyone. Maybe you are acting out sexually, causing harm with your actions. Maybe you have started to slip back into a selfish and self-seeking mindset, and you begin to look at every situation in terms of what it can do to you.

5 Ways you’re Losing Touch with Your Recovery: You start to feel miserable

If you are feeling miserable, for any reason, in your recovery, it is a sign that you are losing touch with your recovery. There is something that you are not doing. If you are feeling miserable, it’s time to take a good hard look at your program and to reach out to sober supports. Feeling miserable is often the last stop on the road to relapse.

Ways To Have Fun in Recovery

Ways to have fun in recovery

Most people before they get sober think that recovery is going to be boring. They have no idea how to live life or really do anything without getting drunk or high; in fact getting drunk or high was half, if not all of the fun they would experience. So it really is an incomprehensible thought to be having fun in recovery without drugs and alcohol. Luckily, this is just a thought and there are many ways to have fun in recovery. When it really comes down to it having fun in recovery is less about what an individual doing and more about the way they feel inside and their attitude. The perception of an alcoholic or addict can really alter an experience so if you are having fun in recovery it is probably because of your perception and less about what you are doing, although, it is still good to have great ideas of what to do for fun in recovery.

Here are some ways to have fun in recovery:

Ways to have fun in recovery: Play!

Whether it is laser tag, paint ball, or a pickup game of basketball; playing is a great way to stay youthful, have fun and be sober all at the same time. Not to mention playing is a really great way to get exercise. You will be amazed at how much you laugh and how competitive you get when you play games sober and you will probably wonder why you hadn’t thought of it before.

Ways to have fun in recovery: Go downtown.

There are lots of things to do in your hometown besides drink or use drugs believe it or not. If you think there isn’t go and try to find all the spots there are that don’t involve alcohol at all. Another thing you could do is go get frozen yogurt or coffee with a friend and then find a bench and people watch. This is especially entertaining at night and can really give you some good laughs. Another great way to have fun in recovery people watching is to try and guess everyone’s story as they walk by based on who they are with, what they are wearing and the way they talk etc. You will be surprised at how it’s the little things that become the most fun in recovery.

Ways to have fun in recovery: Movie nights

This one is an obvious one. Whenever you are looking for a night of fun, invite all your friends over pick some movies. For instance you could do a scary movie theme, pop tons of popcorn, go buy some candy and scare each other silly. This could even turn into a sleep over or game night too if movies aren’t your thing. Once again you will be surprised at how much fun you have and how much you laugh.

When it comes to having fun in recovery it really is all about your attitude. A small and simple appreciation for the little things in life can make all the difference. Plus you don’t have to worry about waking up in the morning with a hangover or in withdrawal if you are having fun in sober. And that’s way more fun.

What the non-addict needs to know about recovery

Internet Addict

What the non-addict needs to know about recovery

Many people don’t truly understand addiction. Unless they have had some compelling reason to learn about it, like a friend or family member that is addicted, most don’t give it a second thought. Even those with addicted love ones may not know very much about the disease.

What the non-addict needs to know about recovery: Rehab is not a cure

Rehab is by no means a cure, and it should not be treated as such. An addict cannot attend a thirty day treatment program and then expect to be back to “normal” when they get out.  Addiction is a chronic, progressive, and relapsing disease. And while rehab is certainly a good start to recovery, it takes continuous action on the part of the addict to achieve sobriety in the long term. For most people, it is what they do after treatment that makes or breaks recovery. Quitting drinking and drugging is just the first step.

What the non-addict needs to know about recovery: The substance doesn’t matter

When addicts and alcoholics first come into treatment, they tend to identify themselves by their “drug of choice.” Some used heroin, some drank, and some took pills. What non-addicts and even some addicts don’t understand is that the substance doesn’t matter. A true addict who used cocaine cannot one day be a social drinker, even if “alcohol was never their problem.” For most people, true recovery means staying away from ALL mood and mind altering substances, not just whatever substance landed them in rehab. Thinking of alcohol or prescription narcotics or marijuana as different from other drugs can be very dangerous.

What the non-addict needs to know about recovery: Time takes time

Once a person quits using drugs or drinking, there are some people that will expect his or her life to come together, just like that. What the non-addict needs to know about recovery is that the drugs and alcohol WERE NOT THE PROBLEM. Rather, drugs and alcohol were the solution to the problem. And the problem was internal. It is the inability to cope with day to day life. It is trying to find peace or happiness by getting high. When you take alcohol and drugs away from a true drug addict or alcoholic, their lives get worse, not better. Until they have another solution, there life will likely be chaotic. It takes time. Many alcoholics and addicts make mistakes in early sobriety. They are learning how to live in a new way, learning how to cope with emotions they have numbed for years, and trying to fix all the wreckage that was caused when they were using drugs and/or drinking. They must learn how to balance their lives again, learn how to connect with others again, and learn how to enjoy life without drugs and alcohol. Recovery is not a destination, it is a journey, and the early days are usually the most chaotic. The good news is, if an addict and alcohol works a program consistently, things will get better.

Common Myths About Recovery

Common Myths About RecoveryPeople tend to have many misconceptions about recovery from addiction. These misunderstandings can be harmful to people who are struggling with alcohol or drug use. It may prevent them from getting treatment or be used as an excuse to shun recovery. Here are some common myths about recovery:

Common Myths About Recovery: Relapse is a normal part of recovery

This is one of the most common myths about recovery. Yes, many people relapse before they eventually quit for good, but you do not have to relapse in order to recover. Some people take the claim that relapse is a normal part of recovery to mean that they need to relapse or as permission to keep on relapsing. For some, relapse can be a death sentence.  Relapse is actually the ABSENCE of recovery. There are plenty of people who have long-term sobriety without relapse.

Common Myths About Recovery: Addicts must hit rock bottom in order to recover

The idea that addicts must hit bottom in order to recover is often misunderstood to mean that an addict must lose everything before they be helped. This is a misconception. Rock bottom is a subjective state of being that basically means that an addict has had enough. Often, an emotional bottom is just as powerful as or more powerful than a physical bottom. Some will go to jail, overdose, and live under a bridge, but still not accept help. Others will still have jobs, families, and homes when they decide enough is enough. This is one of the more dangerous common myths about recovery because if an addict thinks they must hit a physical bottom before getting help; their bottom could very well be death. Plenty of addicts have overdosed and died while they still had money in the bank and a place to live.

Common Myths About Recovery: Recovery is boring

For someone who has been drinking and using drugs for a long time, the idea of living without them can seem really dull. In reality, it is the life of an addict that is become dull. Sure, in the beginning of substance abuse, life may have seemed one big party, and sometimes addicts romanticize these early times and forget what came after. The truth of the matter is that the life of an addict is repetitive and tedious. They repeat the same things day after day. They often isolate, and rarely do they try new things. Quite simply they use to live and live to use.

For people who have a good program of recovery, life is anything but boring. Let’s face it, if recovery was boring, most people would not do it. Recovery means trying new things, growing, enjoying life. It is common for people with a good program to even complain that there is not enough time in the day to do all of the things they want to do. Having good recovery means expanding your horizons and discovering your passions. If you’re bored in recovery, you’re doing it wrong.

Emotional Stability in Recovery

Emotional Stability in Recovery

Emotional Stability in Recovery

Emotional stability in recovery is also known as emotional sobriety. Emotional sobriety is different than merely sobriety. Emotion stability in recovery is a set of skills that are absolutely vital to staying sober. It is the foundation upon which an individual will live their lives and continue the long-term journey of recovery. Emotional stability in recovery includes:

  • Being aware and at ease with emotions
  • Having a stable mood
  • Developing enduring and satisfying relationships
  • Having an optimistic outlook
  • Achieving a balance between body, mind, spirit, relationships and more
  • Feeling calm during times of stress
  • Coping with difficult emotions such as fear, hurt, sadness, and frustration

Emotional stability in recovery comes slowly over time. Just stopping the use of drugs and alcohol does not automatically give someone emotional stability. Those people who are addicts and alcoholics are often out of touch with themselves and how to take care of themselves emotionally. Emotional instability even once an addict or alcoholic is sober may be from loss, neglect, abuse, trauma, etc. Most addicts and alcoholics want to avoid emotions at all costs and this becomes glaringly apparent when they get clean and have to feel everything. Emotional stability is the want and need to feel emotions without having to use when normally an addict or alcoholic would. Even in sobriety addicts and alcoholics who are dealing with emotions can find themselves not necessarily getting high or drunk but engaging in emotionally unstable activities such as overeating, purging, gambling, promiscuity, etc. to try and achieve a sense of gratification or escape from their emotions instead of having the emotional stability in recovery to deal with them.

What is emotional stability in recovery so important?

  1. Emotional stability in recovery is going to allow an individual to avoid relapse
  2. It will allow a person to recognize and work with their emotions as teachers that are there to tell them what they need, whether their needs are being and what circumstances in life need to be changed in order to meet those needs and whether those needs are even healthy.
  3. Emotional stability in recovery is important because it is the development of confidence, satisfaction and resilience that only comes from dealing with emotions directly and effectively rather than using drugs or alcohol to deal with them.
  4. Emotional stability in recovery allows a sober person to become the person they want to be. Their actions are now able to be congruent with their morals and values as well as their aspirations for life.

Developing emotional stability in recovery take times and it does not in any capacity happen overnight. Emotional stability in recovery starts with having a full grasp of what recovery actually means and recovery doesn’t just mean staying clean or away from drugs and alcohol. Emotional stability in recovery is just that-stable emotions along with the end of all addictive behaviors. Recovery means being able to accept emotions and get out of pessimistic thinking without self-medication with substances, compulsive behaviors, sex, etc.

Emotional stability in recovery comes with practice and the want to progress on a daily basis towards a new way of living. Emotional stability in recovery is also more easily achieved with outside help and support group which is why it is highly recommended that individuals in recovery have a large sober network of people who they know. Emotional stability will come for all addicts and alcoholics if they are willing to put the work in.

Are you taking your Recovery for Granted?

Are you taking your Recovery for Granted?Are you taking your Recovery for Granted?

“It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.”

-Big Book of AA, pg. 85.

In the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous it mentions “resting on laurels” which means to be satisfied with what you have achieved and stop taking action in your recovery. It means taking your recovery for granted. This is a common problem among alcoholics, especially when they acquire some sober time and begin to feel comfortable.

For good reason, we pay a lot of attention to newcomers in recovery. They are the primary reason we have meetings. Because of this, however, if you have some sober time and are taking your recovery for granted, the signs may be more difficult to recognize.

Usually, the signs of taking your recovery for granted come long before a relapse. It is important to recognize these signs early on and take action to correct them.

1. Exhaustion- Allowing yourself to become overly tired, usually associated with overwork, is an excuse for not facing personal problems and frustrations.

2. Dishonesty- Dishonesty begins with a pattern of little lies, and then it escalates to self-delusion and making excuses for not doing the things you should be doing.

3. Impatience: You want what you want right now. You get frustrated when others aren’t doing what you think they should be doing or living the way you think is right.

4. Argumentative: You don’t let things go. No point is too small or insignificant not to be debated to the point of anger and submission.

5. Depression- You feel unreasonable, unaccountable despair. You don’t feel happy in your life.

6. Frustration-You feel controlled anger or resentment when things don’t go your way. You can’t accept the way things are.

7. Self-pity- You feel victimized, put-upon, used, or unappreciated. You become convinced that you are being singled out for bad luck.

8. Cockiness- You feel like you’ve “got this.” You know all there is to know about recovery, and you can go anywhere, including frequently going just to hang out in bars or with people who are drinking and doing a lot of drugs.

9. Complacency- You no longer see the value of a daily program, meetings, contact with other alcoholics.

10. Expecting too much of others- You wonder why people can’t just understand you or act the way you want them to act. You feel misunderstood and unappreciated.

11. Letting up on disciplines- You allow established habits of recovery-meditation, prayers, spiritual reading, AA contact, daily inventory, meetings to slip.

12. Forgetting gratitude- You start to lose sight of abundant blessings in your everyday life.

If you notice any of these signs in yourself, you may be taking your recovery for granted. Take action now to get back on track.