Why do you say I relapsed if I haven’t used any drugs? This is a question that we hear all the time. For so many in recovery they think of a “relapse” as using. When in fact that is not true. Relapse defined- occurs when a person is affected again by a condition that affected them in the past. This could be a medical or a psychological condition or both. In other words relapse is not an individual occurrence or event. Relapse is a process. When you have consumed that drug or drank, you in fact have “used”.

So if a relapse is the process that leads you to use, what are the warning signs of this process? There are many warning signs and this is when it helps to be involved in a 12 Step Community. Its the human condition, we don’t always see the warning signs ourselves. Having this community or a sponsor can help identify unhealthy thought patterns when the addict is in active relapse. The most common warning signs are:

  • Hanging around the old places that lead you to your addiction {commonly called slippery places.}
  • Not following your treatment or recovery plan.
  • Isolating and missing your meetings.
  • Stress and major life changes.
  • Mental Health issues or stopping/starting medication.
  • Ongoing relationship issues.
  • Boredom.

There are truly many more warning signs and triggers. That is why it is so important to know your tools, have a plan and embrace a supportive {clean} community. Relapse is that unhealthy process that leads the addict to use. While it is common for the person in recovery to have thoughts of using, what we are talking about here is the obsession and counterproductive behaviors that will ultimately cause them to use. So while so many look at relapse as a bad thing, if you have that supportive community they can help you realize that you are in active relapse. You then can begin to take the necessary steps to keep from using. Relapse, Really? Yes really. So now you know. Use it to your advantage. Get the help that you need before you use.