Relapse is not just a single moment of substance use or abuse after addiction treatment. That is a lapse rather than relapse. When a person goes through relapse, they are moving through a three-step process. At any point during the relapse process, it can be stopped and reversed, which is why recovering addicts need to understand how relapse occurs.
The first step of relapse is one that is emotional. This can be tough for an unaware observer to notice, but can be easily recognizable if you know what to look out for. Negative emotions and habits are what occur during the emotional stage of relapse. Anger, aggression, intolerance, sadness, depression, restlessness, and melancholy can all be signs of emotional relapse. If a person stops caring about their appearance, does not eat healthily, or begins to engage in poor sleeping habits, these are also telltale signs.
Mental relapse is the second stage of the relapse process and is more active in nature. The addicted person actually plans and thinks about substance abuse. These plans often begin to occupy their minds much of the time and they may seem to be distant and secretive to the people closest to them. And, of course, the final stage of relapse occurs when a person actually resumes substance abuse and engages in the compulsive behaviors that go along with their substance abuse.
Having access to relapse prevention programs will give a person the skills and know-how to return to the world after their treatment resisting and avoiding temptation and triggers as they go about their lives.
Reintegration and Aftercare
At New Day Addiction Center our treatment programs teach life skills and ways to manage emotional side effects of the disorder. Substance abuse creates chemical changes in the brain that take time to reverse. Residential treatment allows the opportunity to fully explore and heal the psychological ramifications in a comprehensive manner. Total immersion in a residential program can give those suffering from an AUD the chance to balance physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of the self, creating new and healthier habits before returning home.
Support groups are a vital part of the recovery process and aftercare. For many, aftercare means participation in 12-Step programs or other sobriety groups. A healthy peer network can go a long way toward the prevention of relapse. The creation of strong support systems helps with long-term sobriety. Family education and therapy helps family members take an active role in understanding and supporting someone in recovery.