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What are the Warning Signs of a Relapse?

Relapse is unfortunately common in recovery. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, relapse rates are somewhere between 40 and 60 percent. Recognizing the early signs that one is heading for a relapse can be lifesaving. When we see the signs that a relapse may be coming, we are given the opportunity to make necessary changes in our lives and get back on the right path in our recovery.

“Relapse begins before the first drink” is a common saying in the recovery community. Our desire for drugs and alcohol does not return if we are engaging wholeheartedly in a program of recovery. If these feelings return, we must take a look at how we are going about our recovery program and if there is anything that we are not doing to the best of our ability. Maintaining an awareness of our engagement in recovery activities and doing all the things we need to do to stay sober can mean the difference between giving into temptation to drink or use, or making necessary changes in our lives to maintain our sobriety.

Complacency is a common warning sign that a relapse may be possible. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous explains, “It is easy to let up on a spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities. ‘How can I best serve Thee—Thy will (not mine) be done.’ These are thoughts which must go with us constantly.” We may allow ourselves to be lulled into a false sense of security by the fact that we have remained sober for some time. We forget that we are given a daily reprieve and must take our sobriety “one day at a time.” With these thoughts, we may let up or discontinue certain aspects of our program, mistakenly believing that we will be fine without them. Giving into the notion that we can do less or that we are “cured” of our disease can quickly lead us back to drugs and alcohol. We find that we are no longer happy, joyous, and free in our sobriety, and all the familiar negative emotions of active addiction return. Soon, we are once again seeking relief in drug and alcohol. Whenever we feel that things may be going awry in our lives and temptation is returning, we must make an effort to strengthen our engagement with our recovery program of action.

You do not have to suffer from diminished health as a result of addiction and alcoholism. Recovery is possible, and you can build a happy, healthy future by making the decision to seek help today. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, offers adult programs for men and women that ensure a safe location where clients can relate to staff and other clients in similar walks of life and learn to rebuild their relationships and roles within their communities. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431