Relapse is a process, not an event. It's in the nature of our disease, but it doesn’t have to happen. Constant vigilance of our thoughts and maintenance of our spiritual condition provide the daily reprieve I need.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that 40-60% of recovering drug addicts relapse within the first few months. This percentage is not all that different from the relapse rates for other chronic illnesses, like diabetes, hypertension, or asthma. “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 die, and it won’t be pretty.” Relapse is not a requirement. Here's what you can do to help yourself.
We always plan our relapses ahead of time. They never just occur spontaneously. This means I can avoid relapse if I know what to look for and can learn to recognize the early signs.