Relapsing causes people to believe the lie that they’re a failure. Unfortunately, that’s why many sink deeper into their substance abuse struggles after relapsing. That’s also why addiction relapse is the most discouraging and harmful event to occur to someone who is trying to recover. So much so that it can leave you confused about what to do next.
The truth is, it isn’t the occurrence of relapse that defines you. It is how you respond to the setback that defines how successful the rest of your recovery will be. That’s where the importance of medically-trained relapse prevention techniques and other medical training comes in.
What is Relapse?
The precise definition of relapse is a gradual deterioration of one’s physical or mental battles after showing progress. Therefore, relapse is not simply a single act of substance use. Rather, it’s a sequence of processes that ultimately lead to falling back into your addictive habits. Get help now to learn the relapse prevention techniques that will save your life and help you maintain sobriety.
How Common is Relapse?
Unfortunately, relapsing is often a common, yet intricate part of the recovery process. According to statistics gathered by the NIDA, up to 60% of all individuals in rehab experience instances of relapse. This is particularly common during the early stages of recovery.
Based on these statistics, you’re not alone in your battle. Most importantly, relapse does not mean you’ve failed. It’s not the relapse that determines your recovery, but how you proactively respond to the setbacks of relapse.
What Are the Different Stages of Relapse?
There are very distinct stages you go through before your indulgence in substances re-occurs. Since relapse is not simply a single-act occurrence, identifying these stages will help you keep your guard up. These stages are an indicator that substance abuse relapse isn’t far away. If you experience any of the following stages, keep your physician close and your loved ones closer throughout the process.
Emotional relapse is a stage that occurs when sudden life events, circumstances, or difficult withdrawal symptoms cause you emotional distress. Whether it be the loss of a job or a loved one or elevated anxiety, this phase of emotional instability poses a high risk of addiction relapse. A sympathetic physician can equip you with the proper emotional relapse prevention techniques to harness your emotions and maintain a clear head.
The progressive phase of mental relapse refers to your meditative thoughts and desires to indulge in drugs or alcohol. The addictive personality feeds off of this meditative desire. This phase usually means addiction relapse isn’t far away since thoughts of using or drinking often lead to impulsive action. This level of dependency is nearly impossible to fight off alone. Even if you successfully fight off the desire and thoughts to use, it’s only a matter of time before you give in.
That’s why it takes the support of a therapist and your loved ones to help reinforce your mental fortitude against addiction. The correct relapse prevention techniques and support group can help you remove these cravings entirely.
The final stage of relapse is the physical act of partaking in drugs or alcohol. This stage means the other two phases have already been exercised. There is no designated time frame for when a physical relapse will occur after experiencing an emotional or mental relapse. However, physical relapse frequently occurs within proximity to experiencing the other two stages. Thankfully, you can overcome your battle with addiction simply by getting help from our team of dedicated therapists today.
What Leads To Physical Relapse?
There are a variety of circumstantial and behavioral impacts that indicate an impending relapse is imminent. Understanding the signs and behaviors can help you avoid such circumstances and behaviors that will lead you back to substance abuse. Bearing that in mind, here are the most common causes of relapse.
Withdrawals resulting from chemical dependencies are a struggle to do alone. Once these withdrawal symptoms hit, they cause physical and mental discomfort that is impossible to explain. That’s why many who experience withdrawals without medical assistance often cave beneath the unbearable pressure. Thankfully, Luna Recovery has all the medical support you need to overcome these withdrawal symptoms. Medical detox is the first step before treatment can begin.
Untruthfulness toward your loved ones and rehab physician will put you on a fast track to substance relapse. Dishonesty always begins with a little white lie that grows into something that was never initially intended. All the more reason honesty is perhaps your most vital asset to achieving sustainable sobriety. Complete transparency is one of the greatest relapse prevention techniques to maintain a happier sober life.
It can be difficult to separate yourself from former influences that aid your addiction. Yet, hanging out with friends who fuel or encourage your substance struggles is one of the most harmful factors to your recovery. It takes surrounding yourself with positive friends who encourage your sobriety to help you maintain an addiction-free lifestyle. Therefore, it takes more than simply removing your former influences. Removing without replacing them poses just as high a risk of reverting to old addictive habits.
It can become second nature to reflect on the memories of your prior substance indulgences. Reflecting on memories of substance use, however, is a dangerous way to revive the very desires you’re seeking to absolve. Memories can act as triggers to relapse into your former habits. Understandably, the euphoria associated can be difficult to remove.
Thanks to modern medical breakthroughs, doctors can mentally retrain the emotions tied to your memories. This form of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help you cherish your memories without possessing the feelings of euphoria that commonly lead to relapse. Talk to a compassionate therapist today to learn more about these groundbreaking relapse prevention methods.
Removing old addictive habits from your life is only the beginning of removing substances from your life. The most important part is replacing those habits with a new enjoyable hobby or activity. The development of new habits is a vital necessity for preventing your old habits from resurfacing. Failure to do so rapidly leads to physical relapse.
What To Do When You Relapse
It’s important to reiterate that relapsing does not mean you failed. Your response to relapse is what matters on your road to recovery. You simply require the proper guidance on how to respond to relapse with the proper tools. The tools below are a medically-approved guide on how to respond to the physical relapse phase of recovery.
Relapse Prevention Techniques
These most common relapse prevention techniques could be the very act that preserves your sobriety. All of these techniques are better implemented under the direct guidance of your physician. In the short term, here are some simple, impulsive ways to prevent addiction relapse.
The first and most important step you could make following a relapse is to immediately share the occurrence with your therapist. This ensures you have the means and support to get right back on track. Let our devoted team of caring therapists help you reinforce your recovery confidence and stability.
Relapse can occur in rapid succession following the different stages of relapse. That’s why pausing to consider the consequences and toll it could have on you and your family could be exactly what spares you. When you get the impulsive urge, consider your family, your health, or what relapsing could mean for your long-term goals.
The thought or desire to relapse presents an opportunity to reach out to a loved one or therapist to share these urges. This open-ended communication enables your support group to keep your thoughts and actions focused on continuing your sobriety. Your close communication with your therapist and loved ones could be the very thing that saves you from an imminent relapse.
Thinking too far ahead or tackling the full picture all at once can bring about a discouraging feeling of impossibility. Baby steps go a long way in the recovery process. When you take things one step at a time, everything in life is possible.
Think of recovery as lifting weights. Starting out trying to lift the heaviest weights is an impossible feat that will discourage you from going any further. But starting with the light weights and working your way up helps your strength grow to the point that makes lifting the heaviest a reality. Such is the case for addiction recovery. Taking small steps of progress day by day make sobriety can make sobriety your new reality in due time.
Luna Recovery Can Be Your Strength for Sustained Sobriety
The only way to properly implement these tools is to learn them from a medical professional. Luna Recovery’s luxury rehab center in Houston, TX, will equip you with these self-dependent relapse prevention methods to stand on your own two feet.
Reaching out is the first step to a happy future in sustainable sobriety. Speak to an assessment specialist today to learn more about how relapse prevention techniques can change your life.
Dr. Allaire received his Bachelors of Science in Biology from the University of Houston, as Valedictorian of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and his Medical Doctorate from Baylor College of Medicine, where he served as Chief Resident. He is the medical monitor for the Physician Counseling Committee of the Harris County Medical Society and the Medical Director of Serenity House Detox. Dr. Allaire specializes in medically assisted detox cases, treating patients in recovery from addiction or other mental health disorders, the medical assessment and monitoring of patients with addictive disorders, medical care related to eating disorders and the medical treatment of patients with mental health conditions.