It’s not a solo flight.
One of the bravest feats you’ll ever accomplish as a recovering addict is completing a treatment program. It was hard enough to even admit you had a problem, and tougher yet to reach out for help. But that’s only the beginning of the long journey of continuing sobriety.
You learned coping tools and relapse prevention strategies within the distraction-free walls of the facility, but now it’s up to you to maintain those lessons in the real world to achieve lifelong abstinence.
Fortunately, an abundance of resources exist on the internet and in your community to help you. Staying sober is not a solo flight. Let this guide help you stick to the narrow path of health and hope as you continue your recovery.
The stages of relapse.
When battling the threat of relapse, your most valuable weapon is knowledge. The better you understand the stages of relapse process and risk factors involved, the more quickly you’ll stop cravings in their tracks.
The 3 stages of relapse.
Relapse typically follows three main stages: emotional, mental, and physical. Before the physical stage takes place, the triggers for relapse can originate weeks or even months ahead of time. Exploring each stage, the warning signs, and how to head them off will help greatly reduce the actual physical occurrence of relapse.
Emotional RelapseThe first stage is subtle and sneaky. You’re not consciously considering using, but your emotions and behaviors are shaping the situation for a potential relapse. Signs of emotional relapse include:
- Anxiety, stress, and mood swings
- Avoiding going to support meetings
- Poor eating and sleep habits
Mental RelapseEarly stages of mental relapse consist of simply thinking about using, but as it progresses it begins to turn into:
- Hanging out with old friends who are still using.
- Fantasizing about old, unhealthy friends and the places you have used.
- Justifying why you have to relapse and planning out how you’ll do it.
Physical RelapsePhysical relapse is the actual use of the substance you’re addicted to. If you do not talk to someone, like a therapist or sponsor, when you begin thinking about using again, relapse is almost inevitable. If you’re noticing any of these signs in yourself, please reach out to a professional or loved one. They’re there to help and support you – don’t throw all you’ve accomplished away.
What people are saying about the National Assessment Foundation
“I cannot say enough about National Addiction Foundation — the services they offer are invaluable. They didn’t just find any program for my son, they took the time to find the right one. I will always remember what they have done to help my son and our family. I can’t express how grateful I am for their services and will recommend them to all that are in need. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
“I am so thankful and blessed to have National Addiction Foundation as part of [my life]. They made this happen for my father, and I will forever be in debt to them for their help during this difficult time. I truly appreciate the work that you all do.”
“National Assessment Foundation was the miracle I prayed for. They went above and beyond in reaching out to make sure my son was on the plane and on his way to safety and treatment. I have been able to sleep at night knowing he is in good care and on his way to a change in behavior and choices. They are helping him win the battle of addiction, and I will forever be grateful to them for saving his life.”
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