The Three Phases of Relapse

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Recovery is considered a lifelong process for a reason – because we’re constantly learning new things and discovering how to work through our trials and tribulations. Recovery is about learning what leads us to better living and what puts us back in harm’s way. The beginning of our recovery journey can be especially difficult because of the heightened risk of relapsing.
When a person relapses, they revert back to old addictive behavior patterns, even if temporarily. Relapse is one of the most feared aspects of recovery, simply because it’s often viewed as a sign of failure. But relapse is a normal part of the recovery process and should not be considered a failure – it is simply an opportunity to learn more about ourselves and what we need for complete healing.

All Relapses Are Not Created Equal

There are three main phases of relapse – physical, mental, and emotional.

Emotional relapse does not necessarily mean that a person will go right back to their old addictive habits, but it is the first stage of the relapse process. It can also be a signal that relapse is just around the corner. Certain emotions – such as feeling angry, lonely, sad, or tired – can begin the process of emotional relapse.

Mental relapse occurs when a person is at war between using the drug/substance and staying sober. They may have many conflicting thoughts about whether to use. At this stage, relapse can become an even stronger possibility because the person may begin to feel as if they have lost control over their substance abuse. They may start to fantasize about using and believe they can get away with it.

Physical relapse can involve the person using the drug/substance only once and then realizing their mistake – or it could mean a full relapse, where they simply abandon recovery. Once a person has relapsed, they will likely need additional treatment to help them work through what has happened and get back on track.

Seek Help to Recover from Relapse

Whether you are at the beginning of your recovery journey or have been working towards sobriety for some time, it’s important to understand that relapse can occur – but with the right tools and resources provided at Avalon Malibu, you’ll find yourself back on the road to recovery.

Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned mental health and substance abuse recovery center. Avalon holds true to a standard of care that offers our clients the well-rounded support they need to achieve life-long recovery. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at (844) 857-5992 for a consultation.

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