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    Phases of Relapse.

    Many people new in recovery and some that have been around for awhile may believe that relapse is an event. In other words, they believe that one they JUST all of a sudden they used drugs or drank alcohol after having some period of abstinence. The fact is that relapse is a process. This means that before a person returns to drug or alcohol use there are warning signs. This warning signs show up in ones behavior, attitude, thinking, or feelings and can show up in all four at once.

    Therefore, it is important to incorporate in your recovery a way of monitoring your relapse warning signs so that you can prevent yourself from progressing through the phases and ultimately returning to your addiction. Most useful is to take a daily inventory or doing a nightly check off of the relapse warning signs and then incorporate a strategy to work your way out of the phase that you may be in. It is important to know that it is possible to go from one phase to the last phase, where using and drinking has begun, in a short period of time.

    PHASE 1(internal change) During this phase you look good on the outside.
    1.Increased stress
    2.Change in thinking: you begin to feel that your recovery program is not as important as it used to be. Begin to feel that you don’t need to put forth as much effort now that things seem ok, or the program doesn’t seem to help so you say “why bother.”
    3.Change in feeling: start having unpleasant feelings that you don’t like, like things are going your way when you know they aren’t. feeling
    depressed, like nothing is working out.
    4.Change in Behavior

    PHASE 2 (Denial)You stop telling other what you honestly are feeling or thinking.
    5. Worrying about yourself: you feel uneasy about the changes in your thinking, feelings and behavior. you feel afraid that you won’t be able to reamin sober but don’t want to think or talk about it.
    6. Denying that you’re worried

    PHASE 3 (Avoidance and Defensiveness)You avoid anyone or anything that will force you to be honest about you.
    7. Believing I’ll never use alcohol or drug : over confidence
    8. Worrying about others instead of yourself
    9. Defensiveness
    10. Compulsive Behavior
    11. Impulsive Behavior
    12. Tendencies toward loneliness: start feeling uncomfortable around others and start spending more time alone.

    PHASE 4 (Crisis Building)You start having problem in sobriety.
    12. Tunnel Vision
    13. Minor Depression
    14. Loss of Constructive Planning
    15. Plans begin to fail: Tend to overreact and mismanage each problem in a way that creates a bigger problem.

    PHASE 5 (Immobilization)You begin to feel trapped or can’t get started doing what you know you need to do.
    16. Daydreaming and wishful thinking
    17. Feeling that nothing can be solved
    18. Immature wish to be happy: have a vague desire to be happy or have things work out but don’t set up any plans to make those things happen. Wishing magically that something will happen to rescue you from your problems.

    PHASE 6 (Confusion and Overreaction)You have trouble thinking clearly, irritable and tend to overreact.
    19. Difficulty in thinking clearly
    20. Difficulty in managing feelings and emotions
    21. Difficulty in Remembering things
    22. Periods of confusion
    23. Difficulty in managing stress
    24. Irritation with friends
    25. Easily angered

    PHASE 7 (Depression)You stop doing the things you usaully do. You think life is not worth living.
    26. Irregular Eating habits
    27. Lack of desire to take action
    28. Difficulty sleeping restfully
    29. Loss of daily structure
    30. Periods of Deep depression

    PHASE 8 (Behavior loss of control)You are out of control but not willing to admit it.
    31. Irregular attendance at NA/AA or treatment meetings
    32. An I don’t care attitude
    33. Open rejection of help
    34. Dissatisfaction with life
    35. Feeling of powerlessness and helpless

    PHASE 9 (Recognition of loss of Control)You realize how severe your problems are, but have become so isolated that you feel there is no one to turn to.
    36. Difficulty with physical coordination and accidents
    37. Self-pity
    39. Thoughts of social use
    40. Conscious lying
    41. Complete loss of self confidence

    PHASE 10 (Option reduction)You feel no one can help you and that there is only three options; insanity, suicide or self-medication with alcohol and drugs.
    42. Unreasonable resentments
    43. Discontinue all treatment
    44. Overwhelming Loneliness, Frustration, anger, and tension.
    45. Loss of behavioral control

    PHASE 11 (alcohol and drug use)You return to alcohol and drugs, try to control it but once again you realize your addiction is destroying your life.
    46. Attempting control use
    47. Disappointment, shame, guilt
    48. Loss of control: problem use begins
    49. Life and health problem

    “A day in which an addict or alcoholic does not use or drink is a good day. A day in which an addict or alcoholic does not use or drink when their head tell them to, is a GREAT day.”


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