Staying on the road of sobriety can be a challenge in itself but with a relapse prevention plan, it can be more manageable and effective. Relapses can be dangerous and defeating for a pervious addict. Unity Behavioral Health is here to help you establish a plan and stick to it for a happier and better life.
There are many instances where a person may feel urges or cravings to use again. Certain triggers only make these cravings worse. After treatment, it is important to avoid certain triggers and learn to deal with them.
Common triggers of substance abuse relapse include the following:
There is no doubt, that people will experience bumps in the road after recovery, some that commonly lead to relapse, especially in the early stages. This is why it is important to understand these triggers and cope with them in a healthy way. A relapse prevention plan allows the person to fall back on a set plan and deal with these emotions with a clear frame of mind.
Relapse is actually a process and not so much an event. It is important to understand these stages and how they can impact future relapse. Relapse can start weeks or sometimes even months before a physical relapse.
There are three main stages of relapse: emotional relapse, mental relapse, and physical relapse. Physical relapse is what most people think of when they hear the term ‘relapse’, but the other two stages are just as important.
Emotional relapses are the negative emotions and feelings that could potentially lead to physical relapse. Emotional relapse doesn’t necessarily mean you are thinking of using, but if these emotions aren’t addressed, and emotional relapse could lead to physical relapse.
Common signs of emotional relapse include:
Some of these signs are also symptoms of post-acute withdrawal (symptoms that occur 1-2 weeks after someone stops using). It is important to recognize these symptoms and try to pull back from them and learn how to cope.
At the emotional relapse stage, self-care is key. Understand the emotional hurdles you are going through and take precautions to improve them. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you start feeling these symptoms:
It is important to take care of these issues during the emotional relapse stage. If a person spends too much time in the emotional relapse stage, they may begin to get exhausted, which will eventually lead to a mental relapse.
Self-care is extremely important for your mental and physical health. With a healthy mind and body, you won’t be thinking about using it again. These tips and techniques can be learned during recovery with a laid-out relapse prevention plan.
A mental relapse occurs when your mind is at a crossroads. After emotional relapse comes to the mental tug-of-war of wanting to use and knowing you shouldn’t. At the beginning of mental relapse, your mind subconsciously thinks of using but as time goes on, this urge begins to grow.
It is important to spot signs of mental relapse and reach out for help. You don’t have to go through it alone. If you notice any of these signs, be aware of them, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Common signs of mental relapse include:
When you see any of the indicators of a potential mental health relapse, you have to act fast and smart. There are a number of techniques that can be used to take control of the situation. Strongs urges can be very hard to get control of but it is important that you do.
What tends to happen is a lapse in judgment, the thought that you can control your use ‘just this once’. The next day may come and you might engage in substance use again. This can lead to a dangerous cycle that can lead to physical relapse.
When you are isolated from those around you, mental urges can be much more powerful. Your mind may use that as an excuse to use ‘just this once’. This frame of mind can be dangerous and will lead to more and more instances of using again.
Here are a few tips for managing mental urges and relapses:
With an effective relapse prevention plan, you can learn to tackle these urges. Managing these emotions can be the difference between a physical relapse and another day of sobriety. It takes time and patience to stay clean.
Physical relapse is the final straw and means that you give in to your urges and begin to use or drink again. Without a proper relapse prevention plan, a person may not be able to deal with their urges. The main goal is to avoid psychical relapse at all costs. In some cases, physical relapse can happen so fast a person can completely miss the signs.
Self-care and healthy habits are both keys to making sure you never hit that point. It is important to be aware of these early symptoms of relapse. If you are able to catch these signs quickly, you can work towards resolving them and avoiding physical relapse altogether.
Identifying the signs of emotional, mental, and physical relapse is just part of the battle. Practicing the techniques and tips laid out with a relapse prevention plan can be enough to stop a physical relapse.
Practicing relaxation techniques, taking care of yourself, reaching out for help, and staying away from triggers are all ways to avoid a physical relapse. While this is easier said than done, taking it one day at a time makes the process possible and reachable.
Deciding to get treatment for drug or alcohol addiction is a step in the right direction. However, it’s important to be prepared for life after treatment. With a relapse prevention plan, you can live a happier and healthier life without addiction.
You don’t have to go through it alone, Unity Behavioral Health is here to help. At Unity Health we provide a number of resources to help you get on the road of recovery and stay there. Contact us or visit our website for more post-recovery options.
Speak to one of our experienced and caring representatives at Unity Behavioral Health to learn about how our rehab programs can help your loved one defeat addiction.