Tag Archives: handout

Relapse Stages

One of the hand outs I use with groups. This is a shorten version of Relapse Stages and just a starting off point for further discussion.

First stage – I am un aware. I don’t see it, and have no idea I am in trouble. (people around us may notice subtle changes in attitude and behavior).

Second Stage We become restless, incurable and discontent. Our focus shifts from internal to external, we stop focusing on ourselves and start focusing on other people around us. We start blaming; acting the victim, fear and anger start to become evident.

Third stage Unresolved feelings occur and they are not dealt with in a healthy manner. We go into the emotional and physical withdrawal, than start to isolate. Negative attitudes start to predominate such as compulsive behavior, we start discounting recovery, we may engage in magical thinking.

Fourth stage – A crisis in our life provides the excuse for us to start using it again, or we create a crisis that rationalizes are returned to use. In other words, we have made the decision to use, and are ready to light the fuse.

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As we move through the stages of relapse, a few different things are occurring. Firstly, the need to regain our ‘right’ to re-engage in our addiction seems to make sense. We talk ourselves into the false belief that this time we can control it.

There’s a gradual and progressive destabilization of our lifestyle. Lastly, Stress and Stressors will accelerate this process.

First Step handout

A worksheet that I have used with folks.

 

First Step Worksheet: Acceptance

“We admitted we are powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.”

The first thing is to admit powerlessness, or, in other words, to say “I can’t control my use of drugs/alcohol, or the consequences of my use of drugs/ alcohol.”

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• How have drugs placed your life, or the lives of others, in jeopardy?

What family/personal problems have you had? What legal problems have you had? What work problems have you had?

• How have you lost self-respect due to your drug use?

• How have you tried to control your use of drugs?

• What types of physical abuse have happened to you, or others, as a result of your drug use?

• Are you happy with yourself about your alcohol/drug use?

It is important to honestly look at how the consequences of our drug use have affected us.  This is “connecting the dots”.  When I use, this is what happens.  Looking back over your using history:

• What health problems have you had?

• What sexual problems have you had?

• What financial problems have you had?

Remember that “loss of control” (powerlessness) and problems (un-manageability) are symptoms of the disease of drug/alcohol dependence.  In order to recover, people have admitted their limitations and accepted that the solution is to be open to support from others (NA/AA) and to stay away from the first use, one day at a time!

Recovery Check list handout

  • Accept that you have an addiction.
  • Practice honesty in your life.
  • Learn to avoid high-risk situations.
  • Learn to ask for help.
  • The most difficult path of recovery is doing it alone.
  • Practice calling friends before you have cravings.
  • Become actively involved in self-help recovery groups.
  • Go to discussion meetings and begin to share. You are not alone.
  • Get a sponsor and do step work.
  • Get rid of using friends.
  • Make time for you and your recovery.
  • Celebrate your small victories.
  • Practice saying no.
  • Take better care of yourself.
  • Develop healthy eating and sleeping habits.
  • Learn how to relax and let go of stress.
  • Discover how to have fun clean and sober.
  • Make new recovery friends and bring them into your life.
  • Deal with cravings by “playing the tape forward”; consequences.
  • Find ways to distract yourself when you have cravings.
  • Physical activity helps many aspects of recovery.
  • Deal with post-acute withdrawal symptoms.
  • Develop strategies for social environments where people use.
  • Keep a gratitude list of your recovery, your life, and people.
  • Say goodbye to your addiction.
  • Develop tolerance and compassion for others and for yourself.
  • Begin to give back/help others once you have a solid recovery.
  • See yourself as a non-user.