Overcoming addiction and maintaining sobriety are lifelong challenges. Healing subjects will always face obstacles. One such potential pitfall is relapse. Therefore, many substance rehabilitation programs place significant emphasis on an effort known as relapse prevention.
If asked to define relapse, many people would reply falling back into an old chemical dependency after seemingly conquering said demon. While the preceding description is somewhat accurate, the reality is that the definition is far more complicated.
Addiction specialists argue that relapse is comprised of several facets including:
Treatment professionals maintain that this is relapse’s initial phase. During this time, vulnerable individuals experience negative feelings or emotions such as anger, frustration, resentment, and anxiety. These emotions often trigger their desire to use dependency-inducing chemicals.
As the process progresses, at-risk subjects fall into the mental phase. Their minds often plays tricks and glorify or justify illicit substance use.
The final and most serious relapse stage is the physical part. During this period, formerly clean individuals make the fateful decision to end their sobriety and again ingest addictive substances.
The Reasons Relapse Occurs
Addiction is a disease. Researchers often equate relapse to a flare-up of this illness. Moreover, said healthcare providers do not believe relapse equates to weakness or failure but a sign that the individual in question needs different or more aggressive treatment.
Relapse Warning Signs
Relapse does not usually occur overnight. Recovering addicts are taught to pay attention to potential reg flag symptoms including
*Changes in sleep patterns
*Romanticizing drug and alcohol use
*Noticeable change in lifestyle habits
Individuals closing in on relapse might display other untoward signs such as partaking in risky or potentially dangerous behavior, being dishonest or purposely deceptive, reacquainting themselves with sketchy or even dangerous people or environments, and isolating themselves.
Relapse Prevention Skills
Numerous addiction treatment centers place significant emphasis on preventing relapse. Fortunately, this potentially difficult task might be made easier by following suggestions including:
Caring for oneself is crucial to prolonged sobriety. By engaging in practices like obtaining adequate physical activity and consuming a nutritious diet, recovering individuals will keep their bodies strong and healthy and avoid possible relapse triggers including fatigue and sleeplessness.
Understanding Personal Triggers
Healing souls are urged to know their specific triggers. For example, in certain instances, such factors could be emotional and brought on by negative or hurtful feelings. In other cases, one might be tempted by people or places from their past.
Imagining The Consequences
Those on the verge of physical relapse are implored to stop and consider the potential consequences of such actions. In certain recovery circles, this is referred to as playing the tape back. The adverse and possibly hazardous individual, social, professional, or financial outcomes associated with relapse might keep some vulnerable subjects from reaching such a breaking point.
Following The HALT Principle
HALT is an abbreviation for hungry, alone, lonely, and tired. Researchers have concluded that these feelings are the four biggest general relapse-inducing factors. Therefore, anyone experiencing said emotions are urged to take swift action and not let them fester.
Adhering To Grounding Techniques
Grounding techniques keep struggling souls in the moment and might prevent progression to physical relapse. A common but effective effort many addiction specialists teach is the counting down from five method. For example, the tempted subject is asked to notice five things around them, identify four touchable objects, acknowledge three appreciable sounds, take in the aroma of two specific odors, and make note of one obvious taste.
Practicing Relaxation Methods
Researchers have found relaxation techniques relatively effective in relapse prevention. Those facing difficult circumstances are firmly encouraged to partake in undertakings such as deep breathing, yoga, and meditation.
Creating An Emergency Contacts List
If all fails, those nearing relapse are implored to contact trusted family, friends, or other close relations. The sympathetic voice of an understanding and patient associate may be able to help dangerous urges pass.
Relapse is a complex, potentially hazardous, and always present challenge faced by recovering subjects. That said, with proper planning, strategy, and commitment, the problem can be avoided.
Those seeking to overcome any type of chemical dependency are encouraged to reach out to us. Our Mississippi based treatment center has aided countless former addicts in conquering their reliance on drugs and returning to their families and communities as happy, productive, and rejuvenated subjects. Call 855-334-6120