Relapse Prevention & Intervention: Addressing the Issue of Relapse

If you are in relapse or contemplating relapse, you can call our helpline at any time for support at:  1-877-97-LIVES (1-877-975-4837)

In early recovery, one of the biggest issues is one that is often surrounded by misinformation. An example is the belief that exterior things in life cause relapse, such as: having or losing a home; having or losing a job; having or losing money; etc.

Another example is the reaction from others when someone has a relapse.   There are those who then avoid that person, even when they are back in their meetings.  People do this because they fear the relapse rubbing off on them or the relapsed individual influencing them. Both of these examples are damaging to our relations with others and quality of life.  The most detrimental is when we get off track on the road of misinformation, we are then in the greatest danger of relapse.

Below you will find some helpful information in working with new alumni and for yourself as you trudge the road to recovery.

The first question we must ask is, "Are we really placing recovery first?" Or "Does our recovery depend on other circumstances, people or places?"


Making excuses for missing Aftercare and meetings leads to Stinking Thinking.



Frequent pains, including headaches


Stomach Pains/Nausea

Diarrhea/ Constipation

Depression / Sadness



Mood swings


Doubting yourself or a lack of confidence in ability to stay sober

Denial – “I can just do one.”

Extreme thinking and overconfidence – “I will never use again!”

Defensive attitude

Compulsive behavior

Impulsive behavior

Living an unbalanced life – tunnel vision – taking on too much (for example, all work and no fun)

Daydreaming - wishful thinking

An attitude of everything going my way

Immature desire to be happy without working for it

Hot tempered

Careless – I don’t care attitude

Hate - resentments

Self- pity – “poor me”

Too hard on yourself – no self-forgiveness

Dissatisfaction with life

Feeling of helplessness, powerlessness


Loss of or even a lack of self confidence

Overly sensitive and easily frustrated

Overwhelming feelings of guilt and remorse

Attempts to force or control another person’s sobriety

Loss of or lack of humility – “I am better than or less than they are.”

The attitude of “I don’t care” and “They do not care”

Blaming others or projecting


Lack of realistic or constructive planning

Poor planning, lack of following through, or lack of attention to details

High expectations of others and self

Doing nothing because you feel nothing can be solved

Taking on too much at once

Loss of or lack of daily routine and structure

Slacking on meetings or irregular attendance

Stopping treatment

Believing we are cured

Excuses for inappropriate or irresponsible behaviors

Ignoring mental health problems


Not attending church, temple, synagogue etc. – if you were a member before

Not enough prayer.

Lack of improvement in relationship with higher power.

Attitude of holier than thou.

Relapse is an outcome.  It is not just an occurrence. 

The addict is planning the next relapse by doing nothing. 

Recovery is contingent upon the actions we take.  We have to go to any lengths for our recovery; this includes writing a thorough fourth step, and then taking an honest fifth step.  We can recover and maintain sobriety if we follow simple directions. 


What if an Alumni Member tells me that they want to or they are about to use?

First, find out if they have used or drank in the past 30 to 60 days.  Next, get them to a meeting.  Be willing to sponsor them or get them the phone number of someone who can.  Recommend that they get a sponsor immediately.  Place action where they have been lacking.  Tell them that they are not alone and share your own experience with them on what your early recovery was like and what it’s like now.  Let them know that they can call The Watershed Alumni Department at any time at 1-877-975-4837, or they can connect with someone on this site who can offer support and direction. 

If an alumnus tells you that they are currently in relapse and you are perhaps at the Boynton or Boca facility for the Saturday Alumni meeting, it would be best to take them to the admissions department, so that they can speak with a member of our staff who can evaluate them and assist them in making the best decision they need to at that moment. If however you are not at the facility, you should have them call, (or you could call with them), the alumni number at 1-877-975-4837 to speak to a member of our staff and begin the process of receiving help.

If they cannot get help that day, take them to or meet them at a meeting and help them get tied back in to the recovery community.

What do I do if I am currently in relapse?

Call us now at 1-877-975-4837. If it’s an emergency, dial 911.

How can I help someone to get into treatment?

Join The Watershed Life Savers Program.  The Life Savers Program is a free addiction treatment referral information and resource service.

How can I get back into treatment?

Call us now at 1-877-975-4837.

Read 3667 times Last modified on Wednesday, 30 April 2014 20:32
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