– April 07, 2017


Relapse is not an episodic occurrence. Relapse happens because of the train of thought which gets unmanaged. In early months, the brain is vulnerable and sensitive to different ways of thinking. Checking in with emotions and mental states are critical to stopping the relapse process ahead of time.

Emotional Relapse Cues

What are your emotional triggers for relapse? Abusing drugs and alcohol is a way to cope with uncomfortable emotions. Reality can be difficult to cope with when there are extreme and difficult emotions attached to painful experiences. When those emotions come surging up, your brain is going to react in the way it has been programmed to react, creating symptoms of cravings for drugs and alcohol. Substances provide a production of dopamine which creates pleasure in the mind. If you’re feeling uncomfortable emotionally, you might be able to identify your emotional triggers and recognize the pattern of relapse.

Are you experiencing more positive emotions than normal
Are you experiencing more negative emotions than normal
Are you struggling with a problem and neglecting to ask for help
Are you feeling restless, irritable, or discontent
Mental Relapse Cues

What are your using triggers for relapse? A using dream in early recovery can feel like unjust torture. In the beginning months, the last drink or drug use is not far away. The memory and the associations of pleasure with drinking and using is still vivid and sensual. When thinking stays in the grips of using drugs and alcohol, thoughts can run wild. Relapse is a process, not an episode. Mental obsession with using will lead to relapse because of the way drugs and alcohol chemically alters the mind. So strong are the memories of drugs and alcohol that the brain can begin to convince itself it’s already consumed the substances, without ever touching them. Afterwards, the brain enters a phase of withdrawal, sending out symptoms of cravings which make the obsession worse.

Are you fantasizing about using drugs and alcohol without telling someone?
Are you glamorizing your drug use and ignoring how bad it got?
Are you experiencing euphoric recall and living in happy memories?

Relapse Prevention is an essential part of successful recovery. Get Real Recovery creates a practical program that can translate from treatment to the real world. For information on our luxury residential treatment programs, call 866-983-3651.

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