How to Know If You’re Headed For a Relapse

Recovery is a lifelong journey, full of milestones and challenges. Relapse is often a part of the journey. It does not mean you have failed in recovery and you are not alone if you experience a relapse.  The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that addiction has relapse rates in the range of 40-60 percent.

There are several things you can do to minimize episodes of relapse, including recognizing signs that may indicate you are vulnerable to a relapse.

5 Signs To Look Out For In Recovery

  1. You experience anxiety. If you are worried, unable to sleep, or overly fearful about one of the options in front of you, it could be your own way of warning yourself off from a potentially risky situation. For example, if you are trying to decide whether or not to move in with someone you met in sobriety and you feel anxious about the choice, it may be better to wait until you get to know the person better and feel more confident.
  2. You often find yourself trying to get out of something you have committed to. You may have already made a decision to commit to something and are feeling that it may not have been the right decision. For example, if you took a job that is very stressful or causes you to come into regular contact with someone who is often under the influence, you may often call in sick or look for ways to cut out early.
  3. You are connecting with old friends. You may feel like you are solid in your sobriety and perhaps it’s a good time to meet up with the old crowd. But it’s important to ask yourself why you really want to get together with people from your past. Will there be a situation that may tempt you to fall back into old routines of drinking or using drugs? Is that why you are thinking about connecting again? Be honest with yourself.
  4. You have stopped going to meetings. Again, you may feel that your sobriety is under control and you don’t need to attend 12-step meetings or see a therapist any longer. However, meetings keep people accountable. It could be that you need to change up your meeting or get a new sponsor. It is not a good idea to abandon your support network all together.
  5. Those who have your best interest at heart are concerned about your choices. The people who have been with you for years, watched you struggle with addiction, and are familiar with the challenges that can disrupt your course forward in recovery. When these people have concerns about what you are choosing – or not choosing – in your life, it may be a good idea to consider other options.


Was this page helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.

American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.

Read our full editorial policy

While we are unable to respond to your feedback directly, we'll use this information to improve our online help.

A New Life Awaits
Start your recovery at our spa-like facility in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Holistic therapies, chef-prepared meals, and LGBTQ+ support are among the many features of our premier drug and alcohol treatment program.