Relapse means returning or slipping back to drugs after showing signs of improvement during the addiction recovery process.
After newly recovering addicts complete treatment in rehabs, they usually experience fears of getting it. However, addicts should not worry about it since many others have encountered multiple relapses before they eventually maintain long-term sobriety. Also, it is a common issue for everyone trying to quit drugs or alcohol addiction.
Additionally, relapse is a gradual process that occurs in three stages, which include emotional, mental, and physical. To prevent or overcome it, you have to familiarize yourself with the warning signs that happen during these stages.
Emotional relapse is usually the initial stage that happens in recovery addicts who are not actively considering using drugs or alcohol again.
Generally, the addicts begin to have negative emotional responses and fail to utilize essential support systems to control the emotional episodes. However, recognizing warning signals immediately before they progress into a mental stage can prevent the danger of entering into a relapse process.
The signs or symptoms of emotional relapse include:
- Mood swings
- Failure to attend meetings
- Poor eating habits
Mental relapse is the second stage where an addict’s mind is full of constant contemplations. The person’s mind is internally struggling to know whether to remain on a long-term sobriety journey or whether to return to drugs or alcohol. Usually, most of the addicts would prefer to revert.
As mental relapse progresses, direct thoughts about reverting become intense. At this point, it becomes difficult for an addict to control the emotions. Also, it gets harder to make the right decisions as addiction cravings overwhelm a person.
Eventually, it will just be a matter of time before they revert into drugs. It is the reason why addiction is considered a chronic condition for treatment.
The following are the common signs of this stage:
- Thinking about peers, places you used to spend on drugs
- Desiring to hang out with old friends on addiction
- Constantly thinking about relapsing
- Glamorizing your past activities
- Fantasizing about substance use
- Planning your relapse around other people’s schedules
Physical relapse, in the real sense, means the person has already started using drugs or substances, which breaks the sobriety journey. Moreover, the initial consumption can lead to intense cravings for continuous use. Eventually, the potential for consistent substance abuse or addiction becomes imminent and inevitable. However, the only compelling way to get a person back into treatment at this stage is to take action immediately to avoid further damage.
How to Preventing Relapse
The emotional signs are the earliest stage of relapse, which can prevent it when recognized early. Therefore, you should never allow the feelings to progress in the later stages since they become more intense with a short period.
Moreover, although relapsing episodes are typical and predictable after undergoing addiction treatment, it is also preventable. Understanding the warning signs and the three stages that cause it can help you make the necessary actions and healthy choices. Besides, if relapse occurs, never give up on your recovery journey. Simply, take action, give yourself hope, and get back into the recovery process again.
Additionally, if you suspect you are at risk of relapse during your recovery, ensure you visit a rehab near you to get professional advice, care and support to help you get back to the right path.