2. Mental Relapse:
When a person stays stuck in emotional relapse for an extended period of time, they eventually transition into the mental relapse stage. They start to feel uncomfortable in their own skin and they begin lashing out at others. They become short-tempered, irritable and discontent. Eventually they begin to think that picking up a drink or a drug might not be such a bad idea. They romanticize their past substance use, minimize past consequences and begin bargaining with themselves. A mental war rages on, and if mental relapse is not successfully caught and reversed in time it will inevitably progress to a physical relapse. During this stage of the relapse process it is extremely important to reach out for help. We encourage our clients to stay consistently open and honest with at least one member of their sober support group, and let this person know as soon as they begin thinking about picking up.
3. Physical Relapse:
During this stage of the relapse process the person physically picks up a drink or a drug. In some cases, the physical stage can be caught before it develops into a full-blown relapse. For example, a person might experience emotional and mental relapse, and after several months they might find themselves in a bar with a drink in their hand. If the person implements what they have learned in relapse prevention training, they might be able to reach out for help and make it to a recovery meeting the very next day. Experiencing emotional and mental relapse does not mean that treatment has failed, and it does not mean that relapse prevention training has been unsuccessful. We teach our clients that they can catch a relapse during any stage of the process and immediately get back on the right track.