Relapse: Recognize The Warning Signs

By The Valor Team
Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at 8:37 am in
man standing alone outdoors

One of the things we work on in treatment and recovery is learning strategies to avoid a relapse. A single lapse in sobriety can lead to a rapid spiral back into full-blown addiction. In order to prevent relapse, it’s important to develop the skills to identify potential warning signals.

The coronavirus pandemic is making an already difficult situation even worse. Some of the social distancing measures that have been put in place to protect the public make it much more difficult for people to maintain their recovery, because being isolated from others can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety--and for some, these feelings can be too much to bear. An overabundance of unstructured time, not being able to attend recovery meetings in person, and feelings of anxiety caused by Covid-19 are among the many reasons for disruption of someone's recovery.


If you, or someone you love, is falling into the patterns described below, it is time to focus harder on recovery activities and/or seek out relapse prevention treatment.

Making excuses to avoid group meetings

For most individuals in recovery, group meetings are very important. Not only do these meetings remind you of who you are and what is at stake, they also provide a network of people who provide support and validation, and serve as an effective check and balance system. If you are making excuses for why you can’t attend meetings, then attending meetings is more important than ever.

Acting selfish and moody

It is not uncommon for a recovering addict who is heading for a relapse to act like they did prior to recovery. They can become selfish, easily frustrated, and generally overreact to normal life stresses. If you recognize this behavior in yourself or a loved one, it’s time to refocus on your recovery, and ask for help if you need it.

Breaking healthy habits

In treatment and recovery, addicts learn to embrace new activities and a new lifestyle to replace their previously unhealthy habits and lifestyle. Know that these new activities and habits, such as healthy eating, getting adequate sleep, exercise, and meditation, among others, are very important to staying sober. If you find yourself straying from your new lifestyle and reverting back to old unhealthy habits, you need to recognize that doing so is one of the first signs that you may be heading for a relapse. 

Revisiting people and places that can be triggers

If you find yourself, or your loved one, rekindling relationships with people from the past that are abusing drugs or alcohol, please recognize that this can be a big red flag that relapse is a very real possibility. One of the most important tools to prevent relapse is to identify the people and places that can trigger a relapse and to stay far away from them. Don’t subject yourself to temptations that make recovery harder than it needs to be.


Take steps now to heed the warning signs before falling back into the web of active addiction. 

Don’t judge yourself. Just face the issues and refocus on the healthy habits and activities that reinforce your recovery. 

Don’t avoid asking for help. Call us today at 330-330-8777. We are here to support you in your recovery.