More than 90 percent of persons in recovery will relapse at least once in their lifetime and at least 72 percent will have multiple relapses. Substance abuse counselors report that the relapse did not begin with the return to substance use, but with circumstances that led up to returning to drugs and/or alcohol. Learning to read the signs of relapse is one way to avoid slipping back into old patterns.

It’s All about Perception!

Drug and alcohol abuse and dependency is linked to thoughts, emotions and behaviors. Avoiding relapse depends on the ability to address thoughts and emotions and also discovering a way to reject the behavior that leads to substance abuse.

You are probably thinking that it is easier said than done… but it is not impossible. Avoiding the old way of thinking and the old patterns of behavior is a crucial step in moving forward.

Emotional tension is one of the contributing factors that lead many in recovery to relapse. Stress and anxiety, as well as mood swings and emotional blow-ups can be a real stumbling block that could result in relapsing. At the same time, pretending or denying that there is a problem and ignoring the emotional tension can also create problems. If you think you don’t need help… that is usually a sign that you really do.

The Emergence of Withdrawal Symptoms

Just because you are in recovery and not drinking or using drugs does not mean that withdrawal symptoms will not reappear. To be successful in recovery and avoid a relapse, it is a good idea to have a plan for how you will deal the emergence of withdrawal symptoms. If you know what you are going to do “just in case” – when it happens you will be prepared.

Resisting the Urge to Slide Backward

Avoiding family and friends and returning to the old ways is a clear indication that a relapse is about to happen (if it hasn't already). One of the keys to preventing relapse is to keep as routine a schedule for responsibilities as possible. Then if anything changes you will be able to recognize the sign of relapse immediately.

Signs that a relapse is close may include depression, neglecting appearance, lack of motivation to stay focused on recovery and a lack of self-control. Many believe that if they just have one drink or use drugs just one time that they will get the clarity they need to continue in sobriety. However, substance abuse counselors suggest that when these feelings appear, relapse may shortly follow.

Author's Bio: 

Lara Schuster writes for Gallus Medical Detox Centers. Gallus Detox provides safe drug and alcohol detox with customized IV therapy to comfortably alleviate withdrawal symptoms and patients are monitored 24/7 by ICU level nurses. This proven detox method was developed by Dr. Patrick Gallus after 15-plus years as an emergency room physician caring for alcohol and drug addicted patients. Gallus Medical Detox Centers features upscale private rooms, HDTV, Wi-Fi and personal massage. Patient confidentiality is always protected.