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Signs Of Relapse Into Active Addiction

Maintaining sobriety requires constant vigilance. It can be tempting to think that, after being abstinent for a certain amount of time, it’s okay to pick up “just once.” Likewise, you might think it’s okay to begin hanging out with friends or in places you frequented in active addiction. Remember: No amount of abstinence makes it okay to pick up again. An addict can never safely use drugs or alcohol. Relapse doesn’t have to be part of your story!

Below are the most common signs of imminent relapse into active addiction. We encourage you to be honest in identifying these signs. If you identify with one or more of these signs, understand that relapse is choice you do not have to make. Call your sponsor, therapist, or a trusted loved one as soon as possible to get support.

  • Becoming overly tired, especially on a regular basis: This is a particular danger of workaholics. Getting enough sleep keeps your mind clear and helps prevent against picking up a drug or a drink.
  • Lapsing into dishonesty: Little white lies, deceits, and making excuses are all steps away from the rigorous honesty that sobriety requires.
  • Impatience: We complain that life is not unfolding the way we want it to; things aren’t happening quickly enough, or others are not meeting our expectations. As a result, we slip into craving instant gratification which was always provided by drugs and alcohol.
  • Becoming argumentative: Arguing small, ridiculous or irrelevant points in an effort to be right is not the sign of sober behavior. Too much ego and pride can lead to poor decision-making.
  • Depression: Feelings of depression should be discussed openly with a trusted friend, family member, therapist, or members of our treatment group or 12-step program.
  • Self-pity: Feelings of “why me” or “these things only happen to me” are a dangerous indulgence. If there’s a name for it, others have experienced it, too.
  • Becoming over-confident: Thinking you no longer need to fear your addiction can be dangerous, because you risk returning to people, places and things associated with using.
  • Complacency: Thinking everything is okay in your life, so you don’t need to work on your sobriety can lead to forgetting about the negative consequences of your addiction.
  • Substituting one addiction for another: Rather than using your drug of choice, you substitute another compulsive behavior, such as gambling or overeating, or start to use other substances, including tobacco.
  • Forgetting what you were like in active addiction: People in recovery circles call this “the built-in forgetter.” Practicing gratitude and keeping in close contact with our sober network is a good defense against forgetting. You never want to forget how bad it was at the end.

The Serenity Recovery Center offers a private clinical detox experience. Start your journey to recovery the safest way with a trusted detox program. For information on our program at the Encino Hospital Medical Center, call us today: 866.294.9401