After Detox, Now What?
Relapse is defined as the resumption of heroin use after a period of abstinence.
Three stages of the relapse process: Emotional, Mental, and Physical!
Emotional Stage: May not feel like using but emotions are setting the stage of relapse. Examples: feeling isolated, not going to meetings, poor health care, inability to sleep.
Mental Stage: Cravings often with inner dialogue wanting to use but knowing how the drugs have adversely affected their life.
Physical Stage: They can no longer resist the desire to use.
Relapse Warning Signs
- An upsetting event
- Denial they still need help
- Substituting other compulsive behaviors
- Acting over emotional
- Acting over intellectual
- Feeling out of control
- Negative all or nothing thinking, “I’ll never be able to stay clean.”
- Lack of family support
- Not receiving aftercare
- Intense cravings
- “Just Once” belief
If you relapse:
Do not think that this is failure; many schools of thought believe ‘relapse’ is a part of recovery. In fact, in a study of heroin detox, of all of them, 91% reported a relapse, 59% occurred within one week of discharge.
Age of onset, heavy use of treatment, history of injecting, and not following aftercare were all factors of relapse in this study.