Physical relapse is the last stage of relapse and occurs when a person doesn’t take the time to acknowledge and address the symptoms they experience during the emotional and mental relapse stages. When someone enters this stage of relapse, it is typically because they have acted on their cravings and drank alcohol or used drugs. Understanding what warning signs and triggers to look for can help you along your path of recovery.
Most common triggers of relapse:
- Stress and negative feelings
- Sight, smell, and images of drugs and drug paraphernalia
- Familiar places
- Social gatherings
Warning signs of relapse:
- Romanticizing about drug or alcohol use
- Thinking that one slip will be ok
- Lying and being dishonest
- Isolating yourself
- Skipping therapy or group meetings
The key to preventing relapse is to practice coping behaviors consistently, build a support system, and avoid risk factors. Prevention is the best way to avoid a relapse.
Here are some prevention strategies to help you:
- Practice self-care
- Have a safe place to go
- Find ways to relieve stress
- Talk to someone/Attend a meeting
Relapse is common, but it doesn’t have to be a part of your story. The key is to reach out for help if you find yourself in physical relapse immediately to stop the cycle of addiction before it is too late. You want to get into contact with someone who can help you get back on the right track as soon as possible. Falling back into the same rut can happen quickly. You may experience guilt or shame; however, the best way to deal with those emotions is to acknowledge them and ask for help.