Every so often, we hear people say “Relapse is part of addiction recovery.” It’s not. Relapse is the opposite of recovery. It can be part of someone’s recovery journey but it’s not inevitable.
For many, the idea that “relapse is part of recovery” is dangerous – it implies permission to relapse. It tells me that it’ll be OK if I don’t get it this time, that there’s always another chance. Not true. Just search for any stats about alcohol- and drug-related illness and death.
There are some signs that someone is in danger of relapsing: isolation, rationalization, not attending support groups, poor self-care, minimizing or glamorizing past drug or alcohol use, lying, and others. In some ways, relapse can be predictable.
But recognizing the warning signs of relapse in myself, a family member, work colleague, or someone I care about can be a great help and can lead to positive, corrective action. Part of that action should be to reach out to someone who has the experience and expertise to help.
Recovery Navigators can help with customized solutions. One of our certification credentials is in Relapse Prevention. If you or someone you care about needs help, let’s talk.