How Tax Refunds can lead to a Relapse

How tax refunds can lead to a relapse

It is the 2013 tax refund season, meaning throughout America people are receiving extra money between February and May. With this tax refund, people normally spend their extra money on clothing, household items, or vacation. Unfortunately, for people recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction, the tax refund season is a risky time for relapsing. This is because the addict in recovery now has extra money which may mean extra temptation.

It is the 2013 tax refund season, meaning throughout America people are receiving extra money between February and May. With this tax refund, people normally spend their extra money on clothing, household items, or vacation.

Unfortunately, for people recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction, the tax refund season is a risky time for relapsing. This is because the addict in recovery now has extra money which may mean extra temptation. During the tax refund season, addiction meetings and rehabs tend to see an increase in addicts who have relapsed. It is important to understand what a relapse is, how a tax refund can cause a relapse, and what an addict in recovery and their family can do to prevent a relapse from happening.

What is a Relapse?

A relapse is when a person recovering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol uses after being sober. They may have been sober for one day, one week, one month, one year, etc. A relapse is very serious because normally when a person becomes sober and then uses again, they are unable to use only ‘one more time’; therefore, they fall back into the cycle of addiction.

From Tax Refund to Addiction

A tax refund is anywhere from a few dollars to a few thousand dollars or more. This extra money can buy a large amount of alcohol or drugs. Addicts who are in recovery know this and over this time period so many of them struggle with the availability of this extra money. The temptations were too strong and what were supposed to be ‘only one night’ became ‘only this weekend’ and then ‘only this week’ and so on. The addict in recovery has relapsed and is now drinking or using again each and every day. They will now have to detox and repeat the recovery process all over again.

Relapsing and Addiction

Getting clean is extremely difficult. This is because when a person has an addiction to drugs or alcohol, they become unable to control their urges. Neurotransmitters in their brain change and the addict’s body becomes completely dependent upon the drug or alcohol. Once a person has relapsed and has again become addicted to their substance of choice, they must again feel the need to change and want to get help. For some addicts, this feeling comes quite easily and they will return to rehab, for others it will take months or even years before they want to get help again. This is why relapsing is such a serious matter and must be discussed, especially during the tax refund season.

What an Addict in Recovery can do?

In order to prevent a relapse over the duration of the tax refund season or at any other time of the year, an addict in recovery must thoroughly prepare themselves. There are various ways in which a person can try to avoid a relapse. One of the most important things that an addict in recovery can do is develop a relapse prevention plan. This plan should be thoughtfully written down in advance so it will always be available and ready to go whenever a person is facing a potential relapse. A relapse prevention plan can help a recovering addict to cope with the situation and may help them to realize that relapsing is not the answer. It will also help to write down five people that they can contact at any time, this list should also be readily available.

Most addicts recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction will have a sponsor. Sponsors are all too familiar with relapsing and will be able to understand the extra risk during the tax refund season. Sponsors can be great to talk to, especially when a person is dealing with these extra temptations. AA/NA and other addiction related groups will typically offer more meetings during the tax refund season. These are safe places to go to and can be great chance to meet other addicts and share stories.

With a little bit of knowledge, extra strength, and utilisation of these recovery tools, a recovering addict can get through the tax refund season without relapsing.