Most people think relapsing is a spur of the moment decision but in most cases, it is a gradual process.  Living a clean and sober life is not only stopping substance use but learning how to stay away from drugs and alcohol for the rest of your life. Understands and acknowledging the stages of a relapse might well save your life my preventing one.

The three stages of relapse are:

  1. Emotional relapse.
  2. Mental relapse.
  3. Physical relapse.

Emotional relapse: Is the first stage of the three stages of relapse. During this stage a person are not thinking about getting high or using. However, their emotions and actions have been negatively changing or they make be reverting to old behaviors.

Some signs that one has entered the stage of Emotion Relapse:

  • Isolating from friends and family
  • Anxiety and or Depression
  • Anger and or Sadness
  • Not attending support group meetings
  • Going to meetings but isolating during
  • Poor eating and sleeping habits
  • Poor self-care physically or mentally
  • Projecting onto others

Mental relapse. Is the second stage of relapse which is the consequence of not addressing or attempting to work on any of indicators of an emotional relapse. When an individual reaches this stage, it has been described as a war going on within his or her own mind, and this individual is at a high risk for relapse.

Here are some signs of Mental Relapse:

  • Having thoughts or cravings about using
  • Lying, Stealing
  • Telling themselves recovery and meetings are too much work
  • Looking for reasons to relapse (quitting job, missing meetings)
  • Telling themselves no one will know if a relapse occurs
  • Thinking of people, places, and things associated with past use
  • Minimizing the consequences associated with past relapses
  • Having a plan on relapsing

Physical relapse.  The final and most distressing stage is Physical relapse this is when the individual decides to start using again. This stage brings on the feelings described in The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous as “The Four Horseman”Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, Despair.” At this time, it is imperative that the individual seeks out help from a professional or a peer in the program and makes use of relapse prevention techniques, or else a physical relapse can result in the individual becoming fully dependent on a substance.

Relapse Isn’t The End Of The Road.

If an individual relapses and succumbs to the desire of drugs and alcohol they must realize that this is not the end of the road for them, it might just be the beginning of a brand new one. Seek guidance from a loved one, a member from your support network, or a professional and get back on track. One mistake does not define the rest of one’s life.

If you or a loved one are struggling A New Beginning Awaits, we can help please call

contact us at (855) 698-3554.