It is common for those who are struggling with addiction to make attempts at recovery only to relapse. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism indicates that there is significant evidence to support that almost 90% of alcoholics will relapse sometime during four years after treatment. Some may think that relapsing is an unavoidable occurrence but the truth is that relapse is something that can be avoided.
If you understand the process of relapse, you may be able to recognize the signs and symptoms and get the help you need before you get back into those unhealthy habits. There are generally 10 stages of relapse that any recovering addict should familiarize themselves with to better equip themselves for success after a treatment program.
Stage One: Denial
After completing rehab you may feel like you are cured, but triggers and environmental stress factors can act as a means to throw you back into your addiction. When you have an internal feeling of uneasiness, you’re concerned about your decisions and your health, or if others are voicing concerns it is common during the early stages to shrug these red flags off. You may believe that they aren’t indicative of an impending problem, and deny the instincts that are trying to warn you of danger.
Stage 2: Avoidance and Defensiveness
As you convince yourself that you are fine regardless of the red flags, you will try to reduce any attention on you and your situation. You will be defensive in response to anyone who engages you about your behavior and experiences. And you will begin to retreat from others so that you don’t have to be confronted with reality.
Stage 3: Inconsistencies
As you become consumed with your behaviors and fears of returning to addiction become overwhelming. Mild depression and chronic negative feelings can develop. As they do, you will be inconsistent with your behavior and often miss group activities, or just fail to make plans altogether.
Stage Four: Immobilization
The negative feelings lead to pessimism. You begin lacking the confidence to stay sober and happy, and so you retreat from engaging in activities and acts that will keep you sober. You believe you have no hope.
Stage Five: Confusion
You become hostile, volatile, moody over everyday situations, and you may even have moments where you are overly confused.
Stage Six: Depression
As the feelings intensify, your negative feelings and depression worsen and daily activities are affected, such as eating, sleeping, and interest in life.
Stage 7: Behavior Spiralling
You become resistant to outside assistance and you reject support. The feeling of helplessness overcomes you and you simply disconnect from your life.
Stage 8: Self-Pity
As you believe you have no hope you were losing your ability to hold on to willpower and control. You believe that nothing you do will have repercussions and any self-esteem you have is lost.
Stage Nine: Anger
As the loneliness, depression, and stress increase you will feel resentful about everything you are experiencing and lose all control.
Stage Ten: Relapse
With everything feeling at an all-time low and having secluded yourself so much you are broken down. You convince yourself that you cannot be helped and you give in to temptation and fall back into a relapse episode. Guilt and shame ensue, but unless you seek help you will continue to use.
Help Before Relapse
The medical detox and addiction treatment center alternative at Discovery Place can help you with your long-term success. Our center alternative is ideally set in the beautiful rolling hills of Tennessee for a soothing environment to support your recovery.
Discovery Place’s Tennessee addiction treatment center alternative is here to help you with your journey to sobriety. Our Tennessee detox treatment center alternative’s support team is available to talk with you 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-725-0922.