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Relapse Prevention


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Relapse Prevention and Support

Drug and alcohol addiction recovery is a lifelong process. Unfortunately, no one is ever “cured” of addiction. Relapse is part of the recovery process for some people. It is important to understand that a “slip” or a relapse does not mean it is the end of recovery. It is simply a step in the journey that needs to be dealt with.

Relapse should never mean that you have accepted failure. It’s just a sign that you need to work extra hard to get back to recovery. It also gives you the opportunity to question what caused the relapse and what steps can be taken to improve the relapse prevention plan for recovery. At JourneyPure Emerald Coast, we offer a premier relapse prevention program in Panama City Beach, Florida that can help you maintain long-lasting sobriety.

relapsing does not mean you are a failure

Identifying Triggers: Key to Successful Relapse Prevention

One of the primary factors of a successful relapse prevention is being honest about what might trigger a relapse. This could be, for example, leaving treatment and going back to the environment that first triggered the drug or alcohol use.

The plan should also include how to respond should a trigger be encountered. There are many things that may trigger a relapse, including emotional events, such as a death or divorce. Falling back into old routines, such as going to places you used to go to and hanging out with the friend you used with, could also trigger a relapse.

Relapse Symptoms

It is important to understand that relapse is a process — not an event. Relapse typically starts days, weeks or months before the actual event of a physical relapse. It’s also important to understand the difference between a lapse and a relapse. A lapse is a one-time mistake that is immediately followed by a renewed commitment to recovery. It is simply that — a mistake. It doesn’t mean you lose credit for all you achieved in recovery before. It’s only a lesson that you need to maintain vigilance, forgive yourself and figure out why using seemed like a good idea.

A relapse is more serious, but it is also part of the recovery process for many, if not most, people. “Falling off the wagon” is characterized by three stages of relapse that begin well before the physical lapse occurs. As you progress through the stages, you’re more likely to relapse. This may mean you have not adequately dealt with the feelings and disorders that trigger using.

Don’t let a relapse deter you from your recovery. Look at it as simply a bump in the road in the path to a better you.

Emotional Relapse Stage

In the emotional relapse stage, you are not thinking about drinking or using. Your behaviors and emotions are out of the norm for you, which is setting you up for a possible relapse in the future. The signs of an emotional relapse may include:

    • Anger

anger after relapsing

    • Anxiety

anxiety after relapsing

    • Intolerance

intolerance after relapsing

    • Mood swings

mood swings after relapsing

    • Isolation

isolation after relapsing

    • Defensiveness

defensiveness after relapse

    • Poor sleeping habits

poor sleeping habits after relapsing

    • Poor eating habits

poor eating habits after relapsing

    • Not going to meetings

not going to meetings after relapse

    • Not asking for help

not asking for help after relapsing

Remember, many people turn to alcohol and drugs to soothe uncomfortable feelings or to relieve stress. If you find yourself slipping in some areas of your life — for example, you stopped going to the gym, you’re having trouble sleeping or your eating habits are poor — it may be a sign that you’re about to suffer a relapse. When you feel yourself having uncomfortable emotions or notice that you’ve stopped engaging in other healthy habits, it’s time to reach out for help.

Mental Relapse Stage

During the mental relapse stage, there is basically a war going on inside your mind. One part of you wants to use, but the other part of you does not want to use. During the early phase of mental relapse, you are just mildly thinking about using. As the stage progresses, you are definitely considering using. Signs and symptoms of a mental relapse may include:

  • Lying to yourself, family and friends
  • Thinking about places, people and things you used with
  • Fantasizing about using
  • Glamorizing your past use
  • Hanging out with old friends who use
  • Thinking about relapsing
  • Planning your relapse according to other people’s schedules

Once you’ve begun glamorizing your history of abuse, getting help becomes urgent.

Physical Relapse Stage

Once you start thinking about relapsing, if you do not use any of the methods and techniques you learned throughout treatment, it may not take long to go from thinking about relapse to relapsing. When it comes to this point, it is usually extremely hard to stop the process of relapse.

If you recognize the early warning signs of relapse, have a well-developed prevention plan and are honest with yourself and your support, relapse prevention is completely possible.

What to Do If You Are Worried About Relapse

If you feel yourself thinking about using, the time to get help is now. Avoid the stress and the guilt that will accompany the next morning and call JourneyPure Emerald Coast instead. Our experienced professionals can talk you off the ledge and give you the support you need to get and stay healthy. Wanting to relapse is a normal part of recovery, but it doesn’t have to happen to you. We understand your needs, and we want to see you succeed.

At JourneyPure Emerald Coast, we provide people just like you with evidence-based therapies designed to treat substance abuse, mental health disorders and trauma-related challenges. We offer residential and outpatient treatment in our Panama City, FL and Fort Walton, FL locations. Call us, and we can help you decide which form of treatment is right for you. Whether you’d like medically assisted detox, a comprehensive assessment and dual diagnosis treatment or you’re in the beginning stages of relapse, we can help you get and stay healthy.

Get Relapse Support Now

If you or a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, it’s critical to seek professional help for both chemical dependency and mental illness. The team at JourneyPure Emerald Coast is here to help. Call (800) 493-5253 today. Our lines are open 24/7/365.

Get Help Now

If you or a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, it’s critical to seek professional help for both chemical dependency and mental illness. The team at JourneyPure Emerald Coast is here to help. Call (800) 493-5253 today. Our lines are open 24/7/365.