Relapse prevention does not begin when you consider taking a drink or start drug-seeking. Instead, relapse is a process that takes place over an extended period of time. With prevention skills, you keep your cravings and behaviors from taking you down the road to relapse. You learn these skills in a quality rehab program.
Stages of Relapse
Relapse is a lengthy process. One event does not take back to your drugs or alcohol. Instead, you go through emotional and mental relapse before even reaching for your substance. These stages occur for weeks leading up to your “moment of weakness.” The stages include:
- Emotional relapse
- Mental relapse
- Physical relapse
In emotional relapse, you set yourself up for the possible return to drug or alcohol abuse. You feel anxious, intolerant, angry, and defensive. You isolate yourself, fail to ask for help, and do not eat or sleep as you should. During this phase, you may also stop going to support meetings as you should.
If you do not find help, you keep sliding farther into relapse into the next stage. That next stage, mental relapse, brings its own signs and symptoms. These include an internal debate about whether you should use drugs or alcohol “just once.” You feel at war with yourself.
In mental relapse you consider using from time-to-time at first, even glamorizing your past substance abuse. You think fondly about your days of drinking or using drugs. As you progress deeper into mental relapse, you start preparing to use again.
Other signs of mental relapse include lying, hanging out with people who use, fantasizing about drinking or using drugs and planning your relapse so you can hide it. If you still fail to get the support and help you need, you continue to actual physical relapse.
Physical relapse is the final stage where you return to drugs or alcohol.
About Relapse Prevention Methods
Relapse prevention in rehab teaches you how to cope with the earliest signs of emotional relapse yourself. You learn to recognize what triggers your cravings and when it’s time to look for support. You learn to respect these danger signs and get yourself back on track with the right support. Through the development of your relapse prevention plan, you feel prepared for any triggers or temptations coming your way.
Ways to pull back from the emotional stage in relapse prevention include methods of self-care. You need a healthy mindset during stressful situations because they are when you suffer the greatest chance of relapsing.
Practice self-care by ensuring you take good care of yourself. Get the sleep and nutrition you need. Additionally, protect yourself from emotionally, mentally or physically draining situations. Get back to physical fitness and give your body and mind what they need. This may sometimes include just taking time for yourself to relax.
In mental relapse, get help from your support system. Go to meetings and return to the daily focus of early recovery. Take one day at a time, rebuild your strength, and remember to spend some time relaxing.
Learning Relapse Prevention Skills in Rehab
You need a solid foundation for recovery. This foundation includes everything you learn in detox and rehab at Melrose Recovery Group. As part of this learning, you practice coping skills and build your own relapse prevention plan.
Other aspects of Melrose Recovery Group treatment include:
- Detox and inpatient rehab
- Drug and alcoholism treatment
- Individualized treatment and relapse prevention plan
- Art and music therapy
- Individual, group, and family therapies
- Physical fitness, nutrition, and experiential therapies
You can imagine a better life and achieve it. A better future just requires the right help, including a solid foundation and plan for relapse prevention. Call Melrose Recovery Group now at 866-942-4794 for the support and guidance you need today to achieve better tomorrows.