Understanding The Road To Relapse

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You may want to stay sober. You want to experience the promises of a serene life (pages 83 and 84 of the Big Book). Many people who complete treatment have good intentions, but the cunning, baffling and powerful nature of the disease of chemical dependency [addiction] causes them to relapse.

There are many steps taken before relapse actually happens. If you regularly note the signs that point the way for you, your chances of avoiding a relapse are much stronger.

The path is different for everyone, and usually several signs are present. There is no particular order in which they appear, but if you see yourself going back and forth in these areas... beware! You may be on the road to relapse.

Relapse does not occur when you first begin to use. Relapse is a process that starts long before you actually return to using.

Just as substance dependence is an illness that affected the physical, social and psychological aspects of your life, the road to relapse may have signs that appear in all areas of your life as well.

Practice recognizing the early signs that may warn you of a possible relapse:

  • Denial returns
  • Quit exercising
  • Idle daydreaming
  • Feelings of unmanageability
  • Stuck in self-pity
  • Anger grows
  • Blaming others for problems
  • Feeling depressed
  • Don't ask for help
  • Drop sponsor (or quit calling him/her)
  • Deny importance of 4th Step
  • Stop going to aftercare
  • Stop going to AA/NA/CA meetings
  • Push sobriety on others
  • Lie on purpose
  • Thinking of drinking and/or using
  • Hide out (isolating)
  • Procrastinate on daily tasks
  • "I don't care" attitude
  • Build resentments (against people, places, institutions, or things)
  • Act defensively
  • Slippery places (going to, or hanging out in them)
  • Lose daily structure
  • Lose confidence (or excessive overconfidence in self)
  • Eat and sleep irregularly
  • Act in grandiose fashion
  • Build false expectations
  • Associate with chemically abusive people

If you show any of the above early warning signs, print a copy of this document, circle the signs that you have, AND TALK TO SOMEONE ABOUT THEM.

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Topic: Understanding The Road To Relapse
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Tom C. says...
There are many roads to relapse. But what's important is that relapse happens way long before you ever pick up and use. Relapsing isn't just the act of doing so, but happens first in the brain. The more signs and symptoms that are shown, the more risk one is at to relapse.
14th November 2014 10:00am
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