Relapse warning signs are the signs and circumstances that lead to a relapse, causing you to fall off the sobriety wagon and go back to using drugs or alcohol once more. In order to prevent a relapse from happening you need to know what to avoid and what you should watch for. One of the most important tips for anyone in substance abuse recovery is to avoid the places and things that you associate with your substance abuse. This means cutting off friends who still use if necessary, and avoiding the places that you used to go to get or use drugs or alcohol. Some relapse triggers are strong emotions, because if you have negative feelings then the old desire to chase these away with drugs or alcohol will also surface.
Relapse triggers usually fall into one of three categories: emotional states, physical changes, and social situations. If you are feeling strong emotions this is one of the relapse warning signs, especially if these are negative. If you are under a lot of financial responsibility, if you change or lose your job, or even going through a divorce or nasty custody battle can cause you to crave the drugs or alcohol that you abused in the past. If you notice one or more relapse warning signs then you need to seek treatment as soon as possible to avoid a relapse. A strong support system in place can make a big difference, because when relapse triggers and relapse warning signs do happen you have people who understand and who can help you stay strong and sober.