How to Prevent Relapsing
For an addict, the battle against addiction continues long after rehab. An addict is always in danger of relapsing. In fact, many addicts who go to rehab are going because of a relapse. Sometimes, a person will have to go through rehab several times. This can be frustrating if your loved one is going through this, but understand it’s even more frustrating for them. That being said, there are steps your teenager can take to help fight against relapsing. Today in the Ozarks Teen Challenge blog, we’ll go over some of these tactics.
Stages of Relapse
First, it’s good to be familiar with the stages of relapse so you know what to expect and the symptoms that might indicate your teen is heading toward a relapse. Relapse isn’t typically something that happens suddenly. It’s usually a process that can sometimes take months to come to fruition. The three stages to watch out for are:
- Emotional Relapse
- Mental Relapse
- Physical Relapse.
Let’s take a look at these stages.
A person going through emotional relapse isn’t thinking about using, but their emotions may be setting them on a path toward relapse. They may be bottling up their emotions or not partaking in post-rehab activities like meetings. They probably won’t be taking care of themselves very well. If your teenager doesn’t seem to be eating or getting much sleep, or if they seem very closed-off, they may be in the early stages of a relapse.
In the next stage of relapse, your teenager will start thinking about using again. Part of them won’t want to, but the other part of them will. This internal struggle can cause them a lot of pain. They’ll go deeper into their lack of self-care and they may start lying and hanging out in old places with old friends that contributed to their addiction in the first place.
It’s important for teens to be honest about how they’re feeling, so encourage them to open up and talk about what they’re going through. Help them remember to take recovery one day at a time and resist their urges.
If mental relapse isn’t properly dealt with, physical relapse will be the inevitable result. This is when an addict gives in to their urges. At this point, it’s best to get help as soon as possible to try and head off a full-blown, uncontrollable relapse.