Relapse: Phases and Warning Signs
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Substance abuse is an addiction that is hard to recover from. This can include anything from a drug addiction to alcoholism. No matter what the substance, intervention and rehab can help. After a person is clean, it is important stick to sober living. Certain behaviors and mentalities, however, can affect a person and lead to a relapse.
A return of denial can set an addict back on the path of substance abuse. This denial can lead to avoidance and defensive behaviors. Thoughts like, “I’ll never drink again,” and defensiveness can work together to make the problem seem insignificant. The crisis building stage begins next. During this stage, minor depression can set in and plans begin to fail.
As these feelings begin to take affect, a person can feel like nothing will be solved. This is followed by confusion and overreaction. The person is easily angered and will be irritable. This begins to affect the body, manifesting in depression which results in irregular eating and sleeping habits. The person begins to lose control of behavior, feeling both powerless and helpless. Many times the person will choose not to attend an AA or treatment meeting.
Self-pity follows these feelings. Thoughts of social drinking enter into the mind. This recognition of loss of control makes the addict feel like there is no option. Unreasonable resentment and overwhelming tension can cause loss of behavioral control. All of this contributes to the relapse episode and substance abuse begins anew.