Relapse Prevention: Common Causes Of Relapse In Each Phase Of Addiction Recovery
Do you have relapse prevention tools to handle the most common causes of drug and alcohol relapse? Read on to learn the 3 phases of addiction recovery and the common, preventable pitfalls of each.
Despite the best of intentions, a large number of people entering addiction recovery will relapse.
Addiction recovery can be looked at as having 3 phases, each with its goals and growth opportunities. In each phase there are certain dangers present that need to be identified and planned for. Let’s take a look at each of these 3 phases.
Phase 1, Early Recovery
In early recovery the goal at its simplest is abstinence from all mood altering chemicals. Stop using. In order to do that certain areas of new knowledge need to be addressed:
1. Knowledge of addiction and its global effects must be learned.
2. Refusal skills and coping skills must be identified and learned.
3. A sobriety based support system must be started and developed
People entering early recovery need to learn how to develop, thinking, feelings, and behaviors based in recovery principles to replace those formed while in active addiction.
The major cause of relapse during the phase 1, or the early recovery period is not developing effective recovery and social skills that are needed to build an abstinence and recovery based lifestyle.
Phase 2, Middle Recovery
The major goal of development in middle recovery is establishing a balanced lifestyle. A major objective is to start to identify the wreckage of the past and start to address it. With abstinence established in phase 1, it is time to turn to developing personal growth and maturity. Stress can sometimes escalate as the person returns to ‘the real world’. Items often addressed are:
1. Doing personal work to reestablish self-esteem and self-worth.
2.Repairing damaged relationships with family and friends.
3.Moving back into society in a contributing and productive way.
The major cause of relapse during the middle recovery period is handling emotions and relationships generated by life problems.
Phase 3, Later Recovery period
In the later phase of recovery, people strive to make changes in ongoing issues that have continued to block or inhibit life satisfaction. This is the arrival at a ‘happy, jotous and free’ place in life. Choices are made according to a sound and newly developed sense of. Ethics, morality and purpose. This is a phase of personal growth and movement forward in life. Items worked on include:
1. Identifying and changing self-sabotaging and self-defeating behaviors.
2. Examining sources of personality issues.
3. Working through family of origin issues.
The major cause of relapse during phase 3, or the late recovery period, is either the lack of ability to cope and process the emotional stress of unresolved childhood issues or avoiding the need to change one’s lifestyle and personality into one of health and growth.