Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: SBR: Relapse is a predictable process.
Author: Fraser Trevor
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 It has identifiable stages, each of which has a distinctive neurochemical basis. The FASTER Scale is a neurochemical model of relapse that...
 It has identifiable stages, each of which has a distinctive neurochemical basis. The FASTER Scale is a neurochemical model of relapse that identifies specific high risk behaviors for each stage of the relapse process. Before relapse happens, many biological, psychological and social changes affect our neurochemistry. Addicts speed up their avoidance behaviors, increasing anxiety and anger to mask pain. This depletes endorphins, causing hopelessness and exhaustion. In this state of exhaustion, addicts isolate and feel they cannot cope without chemicals.
Every letter in the word "FASTER" stands for one of the steps in the relapse scale. This scale reflects a progression of strong emotions that mask pain. It explains neurochemically what almost every addict goes through in his descent to relapse. Remember, anger and anxiety release adrenaline and norepinephrine, which speed up the body. After speeding up we get ticked off and then exhausted.
All the steps in the relapse process have one thing in common: procrastination. A problem that was never dealt with begins each state. As you fail to deal with problems, you move down the FASTER scale. Crisis comes at a time when you are least able to deal with it emotionally. The short version of the FASTER scale is forgetting priorities—speeding up—ticked off—exhausted—relapse. To interrupt the descent into relapse, addicts must take responsibility for where they are on the scale by becoming aware of their behavior and make good choices to stop the downward spiral.
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