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What happens when I relapse? 5 Signs to look for

For preventing a relapse, it is important to recognize warning signs before the actual relapse happens. Here are five signs to look for that may help you prevent a relapse:

  1. You get complacent. Sometimes when recovery is going well, you may get too comfortable in your new state of being and you make think, “I can handle it from here.” You must stay on track with working the steps or the inevitable backward slide begins. Don’t let success be your trigger!
  2. Your attitude and mood begin to change.  Right before a relapse, you may act the way you did when you were using: selfishly. As a result, you’ve stopped helping others. Staying connected to others through service is important to recovery. Serving others helps you to maintain humility and keep your focus away from selfish desires.
  3. You think about “just one” that maybe just one drink or just one pill won’t hurt. Understand that ALL it takes is just one to get you back to the same place you were when you last quit drinking or using.
  4. You have the desire to contact your old using buddies. Before a relapse, you may think more about the folks you used to hang around and the things you did together during your substance abusing days. Reaching out to friends that are still interested in using will put your recovery in danger.
  5. You neglect to use your recovery tools.  Avoiding relapse takes hard work and dedication. Continual use of your recovery tools will help you stay connected to your support.

If you are experiencing any of these warning signs of a potential relapse, remember to reach out for help. And if a relapse occurs, don’t allow your pride to keep you from getting back on track with your recovery. Call your sponsor, got to a meeting, work the steps.

 Brian Franco, BSW, CSAC, Discharge Coordinator at Fellowship Hall