The first stage of relapse is the emotional relapse. During this phase the individual has not yet picked up drugs or alcohol, and often times has not even thought about using. In this phase the individual will start to show self-destructive behaviors, such as lack of meeting attendance, poor eating habits, and unusual sleep patterns. Another indicator that a person is in the emotional relapse stage is sudden mood swings, anxiety, and anger.
If the emotional relapse is not caught and treated, the individual will start the next phase which is the mental relapse. At this time the individual still has yet to pick up drugs or alcohol. In this stage the individual will start to struggle with the thoughts of picking up. While the individual may want to stay sober they will start to rationalize their usage. Warning signs of this stage are hanging out with their old acquaintances, hanging out at old places, glamorizing their usage, or making plans on how to pick up their drug or alcohol of choice.
The final stage of this three part process is the physical relapse. This occurs after the emotional and mental relapse have gone untreated, and the individual picks up a drug or drink. After experiencing an emotional and mental relapse and not addressing these issues, the usage of drugs or alcohol is unavoidable.
Here at Bright Futures Treatment Center, we incorporate relapse prevention into all our levels of care. Our clinical team educates our clients on what warning signs to look for such has behavior changes, mood changes, and negative thinking. The clinical team also prepares the clients with prevention skills to work through the phases of relapse while remaining sober. Having this knowledge and skills has been shown to be the best defense from relapsing.