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In some recovery circles, there is a word referred to as the “R” word. There are theories that insist that relapseis a part of recovery. Of course, statistics do indicate there is a baffling and unnatural tendency for those recovering from drug and alcohol addiction to slip up.

However, there is no hard and fast rule that says we must go back out. There are enough individuals who are part of recovery programs that share their experience as once-in stayed-in miracles.

Since rules are often too harsh an approach to impress upon us in early recovery, we’ll refer to them as suggestions. You know, kind of like pulling the cord on a parachute when you jump out of an airplane is recommended. From our experience, these are two keys in recovery to help combat the dreaded “R” word; relapse.


It wouldn’t be farfetched for us to conclude that things used in the real world to make our lives better might work as well towards sustained recovery. When we’re looking for a new place to live or a better job, we call it networking.

In recovery, they’re called connections. If you’ve ever attended a large recovery-based meeting for the first time, you may be fortunate enough to have an astute soul pass around a meeting schedule asking for willing folks to add their phone number.

These lists of others in recovery who are willing to help are a gift. It’s not a list of numbers we think about calling when things get tough. Usually when we wait to the point things are going awry, it’s too late.

The idea is to use these as tools to make connections with like-minded individuals in recovery. These connections can help us through tough times, but most of all, be an understanding voice on the other end of the phone to help halt a relapse in its tracks.


Just like the varieties of alcohol or types of addictive drugs, triggers for relapse come in all different shapes and colors. The drug or the alcoholic beverage isn’t usually the culprit. Something happens in our recovery that leaves us vulnerable to these triggers.

Triggers are things such as old party hangouts, old friends who still drink or use, or otherwise innocent situations that ignite uncontrollable urges and cravings. In early recovery, it is suggested that we avoid all situations that might ignite our urges and dilute our good common sense desire to stay the course in our recovery.

Common relapse triggers are things that others in recovery speak of often. By using the connections you make in recovery, you can arm yourself against triggers before they’re able to blindside your recovery.

We all appreciate the need to guard against triggers. When we’re striving for consistent recovery, sometimes knowing what they are and how to avoid them may be the difference between another day of recovery and a relapse.

Recovering from drug or alcohol addiction is a journey, not a destination. Our journey begins when we become wise enough to ask for help. You can ask for the help you need today, just by picking up the phone to speak with someone who understands your struggle.

Don’t sit around and think maybe you’ll call tomorrow, because when it comes to drug and alcohol abuse, tomorrow may not come. As you walk your own successful journey in recovery, apply these two useful suggestions to help you stave off the dreaded relapse.