Recovery is a process of changing behavior patterns and learning new coping mechanisms. Many people who are in recovery also have a relapse as a part of their story. So what is a relapse, exactly? Relapse is when you pick up a drink or a drug and abuse it. This is also considered a “backslide” that can cause you to return to old behavior patterns. Unfortunately, some research shows that nearly 90% of all people who go to treatment or go to 12-step meetings may relapse at some time in their lives.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Here are 4 telltale warning signs that you can use as “red flags” to help prevent relapses.

  1. Be wary of addictive/compulsive behaviors. Many people in recovery will describe substituting one habitual action for another. Compulsive eating or playing video games nonstop are examples of practices that some addicted people revert to while in recovery. These are called “maladaptive behaviors” because they create a temporary or false sense of security. But you may be using these behaviors to avoid something else in life. These are not healthy behaviors, and they are usually signs that you’re struggling and need to reach out to your support network.
  2. Honesty will help you stay clean. If you’re not honest with your support network, family or friends, then they won’t know how to help you. When somebody asks you how you’re doing, it’s okay to tell them the truth. Asking for advice or other support is an excellent way to practice honesty. It will get you everywhere.
  3. Reach out when things aren’t so great. Reaching out to your sponsor and others from 12-step meetings is essential. This is how to If you’re in therapy, then you have an opportunity to reach out to a professional when you’re in need, too. Make a habit of asking for help.
  4. You’re stagnant or depressed. If you’re no longer working on yourself or experiencing a period where you just don’t feel like doing anything, you may be experiencing depression. It’s normal to feel blue every once in a while, but if you find yourself feeling empty or sad for weeks, you may be suffering from depression. Consider seeing a therapist and let others know how you’re feeling.

A lot of the recovery journey is about self-awareness and mindfulness. Practicing new behaviors is also important.

If you’ve experienced relapse and want to get back into treatment, we’re here to help. If you’re new to recovery and interested in learning more about your treatment options, we can help with that, too. Give us a call at 877-228-2401 for more information.