Relapse is a process

not an event

Addiction is a relapsing disease

But it doesn't

have to be

We plan our relapse

Relapse is a process, not an event

As addicts and alcoholics, we typically begin planning our relapse weeks before we pick up the first drink or drug.  Because the steps that lead to relapse are mostly the same for everyone, it’s possible to recognize and alter the course of our disease.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse

estimates that 40-60% of recovering drug addicts relapse within the first ninety days.  It’s important to know that this percentage is the same as the relapse from other chronic illnesses, like diabetes, hypertension, or asthma. 

With odds like that, why bother?

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Because it was quit or die

“With numbers like that, why even bother?” you ask.  First, statistics apply to groups, not individuals.  Second, the life of addiction was killing us.  We had reached a point where it was either quit or die.  As my counselor said, “If you use again, you will die, and it won’t be pretty.”

This is why “90-meetings-in-90 days”

works for many of us.  Those who achieve of full year without relapse have an excellent chance of long term recovery.

Relapse is in the nature of our disease

but it doesn’t have to happen.  Constant vigilance of our thoughts and maintenance of our spiritual condition are what give me a daily reprieve.