Buy the Book: Recovery Options
(quotes taken from the above text)
Chronic pain or illness can trigger relapse.
"It's crucial to see a pain specialist as early as possible and to be honest about your drug problem with him or her."
Note the words 'pain specialist' here, not doctor. Many regular doctors will dismiss the needs of an addict or ex-addict who is legitimately seeking help for pain. Pain doctors will do their best to maximize pain control while minimizing the risks of relapse.
"Remember that any amount of time spent clean and sober counts. It is not erased by relapse."
"...the more times you try to quit, the more likely you are to become clean and sober."
"Among people who come for treatment for addiction, more than half have emotional distress significant enough to warrant a psychiatric diagnosis."
"...treatment programs are often only able to see the aspect of the problem they are designed to deal with."
It's important to find a treatment program specifically tailored to the needs of dual-diagnosis individuals.
"Please note: Dual-diagnosis patients who attend 12-step support groups should be very cautious about talking about their medications and their mental illness in meetings. Although the program doesn't officially oppose psychiatric medication, many individuals do, and they often tell people to 'stop taking that junk.' Suicides have resulted."
Recognize that being sober does not ensure happiness, especially if you suffered from depression prior to the addiction. Also, as time passes, support from others tends to wane, and often there is the expectation that the addict will assume a productive place in society with appropriate responsibilities. Many recovering addicts have no experience in dealing with this kind of pressure and can be unprepared.
"If you are trying to help someone with a dual diagnosis, you may feel frustrated by the slow pace of progress."
Take care of yourself first. Set limits of tolerable behavior and state them clearly, rather than blowing up and getting angry. Decide whether you can live with the person's overall behavior, rather than a single incident. Don't expect miracles.
"If both [the mental health issues and addiction] are severe, you may have to consider your loved one as if he or she had cancer: Treatment might help, permanent remission is possible, but death is also always a possibility. Treasure the good times, and try to stay in the moment, rather than worrying about the future.
"You have to have a clear image of where you stand, before you can tell if you are moving forward." -- Jade