Warnings Signs of a Relapse

Relapse Workshop: Warnings Signs of a Relapse

Estimated watch time: 3 mins 24 secs


Rarely does a relapse come out of nowhere. There are frequently a number of warning signs that someone may show.

This video guide can help you recognize common warning signs and which ones may apply to you.

Video Materials:

Related Content:
Accompanying Worksheets:

There are lessons accompanying each video that you can access through our recovery portal, Swell or you can download, here. (Lesson 3)

Medically-reviewed articles:
Professional webinars:

Relapse Workshop: Warning Signs of a Relapse

In this lesson, we’re talking about the warning signs of a relapse:

  • Stopping or cutting back your attendance in therapy or counseling
  • Thinking about ways you might be able to drink or use without anyone knowing about it
  • Fantasizing about how good it would feel to drink or use or thinking very little about the potential negative consequences
  • Stopping or cutting back your attendance in self-help groups such as AA or Smart Recovery
  • Engaging obsessively in a replacement addiction such as eating, gambling, shopping, video games or pornography
  • Isolating yourself from others
  • Placing yourself in risky situations
  • Spending time in places where you used to buy or use drugs or alcohol
  • Avoiding talking about mixed feelings or doubts you have about staying sober
  • Starting to use a drug other than your substance of choice
  • Feeling intense, negative emotions such as depression, anxiety, anger or irritability
  • Feeling that you don’t fit in with others who are in recovery
  • Regularly spending time with people who are using
  • Blaming other people for your problems
  • Having very few activities that are fun or enjoyable
  • Not sleeping well or not sleeping enough
  • Neglecting responsibilities such as paying bills, doing household tasks, taking care of loved ones, or getting to work or school
  • Avoiding talking about feelings of unhappiness
  • Feeling hopeless about your ability to rebuild your life.
  • Keeping alcohol, drugs or paraphernalia at home
  • Hanging onto the phone numbers of dealers or people used to use with
  • Lying
  • Rejecting help from others
  • Feeling bored or having lots of unstructured or unplanned time
  • Isolating yourself or withdrawing from recovery supports
  • Acting defensive when others around you express concern about your well-being or recovery

Are there others you can think of? I’d like you to point out and name your top three warning signs.

So do you believe you’re an addict or alcoholic? That belief is an important part of staying sober. If you don’t think you are, it’s going to be difficult to stay sober. Do you want to stop using? What are you not doing that you need to be doing in order to stay sober? And what are you doing that you need to stop doing in order to stay sober and identify who or what can help you?

In the next lesson, we’re going to talk about what you can do to reduce your relapse risk.

Thank you for choosing The Recovery Village. If you or a loved one are struggling with mental health or substance abuse and would like to find out more about the programs we offer, please reach out to us directly at 855-387-3291.

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Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.