Cravings will inevitably occur within your recovery. Learning ways to cope with these cravings is what will help you to avoid relapsing. Relapse typically is not an event that just happens out of nowhere. When you become aware that you are becoming less functional and demonstrate a decreased ability to cope with life soberly, it is easy to turn back to old behaviors. This may mean using alcohol, cannabis, opiates, stimulants, or other substances.

14 Important Signs That You Could Be About to Relapse

Relapse is a gradual process that many individuals miss the signs of. There are three stages of relapse: emotional, physical, and mental. One acronym to keep in mind regarding relapse is HALT: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. Warnings that you may be heading for an emotional relapse include:

  • Denying your emotions toward others
  • Spending most, or all, of your time alone
  • No longer attending 12-step meetings or staying quiet during these gatherings
  • Avoiding focusing on yourself and putting the attention on others
  • Letting go of activities of daily living, such as good self-care, eating healthy proper amounts of food, and keeping to steady sleep routine.

Signs of mental relapse include:

  • Experiencing alcohol or drug cravings
  • Ruminating over people, places, and things that surrounded your past substance use
  • Denying that the consequences your alcohol or drug use were that bad
  • Romanticizing past use
  • Haggling
  • Not being honest
  • Scheming ways to regulate your use
  • Trying to find opportunities that could allow you to relapse
  • Actually planning out your relapse.

Physical relapse can happen as a full-fledged event or as a lapse. A lapse is where you have your first drink or drug use after being in recovery. Relapse tends to come after the lapse when the use or drinking happens over an extended period.

Ways to Cope with Cravings

Managing Cravings to Help Avoid RelapseOnce you have stopped utilizing drugs and alcohol, you likely will still experience cravings. This does not mean you will relapse if you cope with these not-so-fun feelings in a positive, sober manner. Staying drug and alcohol-free requires us to change people, places, and things that remind us of the substance, and replace these with a sober support network, including loved ones, 12-step meetings, and support groups. Seeing the progress you have made in your occupational and educational fields can also help.

Often cravings arise due to anxiety or depression (even if not diagnosable). Proper sleep hygiene and diet can help reduce these feelings. A steady routine with exercise, meditation, gratitude lists, and hobbies can also aid with this. Try not to make any huge decisions especially in the beginning of recovery. It is important to understand the reality that change is inevitable in life and attempt to have a positive attitude regarding it.

Discovery Place: Aid if You do Relapse

At the Discovery Place of Burns, Tennessee, we have seen it all. Every day we help individuals just like you before, or after, a relapse. Our nonprofit organization has trained staff members who understand what addiction really means. At our very core, we exist to guide men from the depths of addiction to the joys of recovery. Join us today to learn how to utilize the principals of honesty, perseverance, discipline, tolerance, and love to create a sober, happy, useful, and whole life. Get the help you deserve today! Call us at 1-800-725-0922.


  • Discovery Place was the answer for my son. He did the 90 day and then the step down program and sober living. We give this organization 10 stars. They met my son where he was …emotionally, mentally, physically. They helped him put his life back on track. Discovery Place employees care about their guests. If your son, brother, nephew, grandson or husband needs excellent supportive care THIS is indeed the facility.

    Kim Morton
    Alumni Parent
  • I have remained sober and it is because of DP. DP is the best place there is, hands down. I keep everyone there in my prayers, and I encourage everyone there to take what they are practicing and do it in their lives, after.

    Roy Mantelli
  • Over the past year, I’ve been putting into actin what Discovery Place taught me, and I have experienced a complete perspective change of the world, and the people in it. I get to be a man of service and love today, and for that I am grateful to Discovery Place.

    Matt Kassay
  • Discovery Place means the world to me. They showed me the tools that I’ve tried to use everyday in my life to think less often of myself, and more frequently of others. I am learning to lend a hand when I am able and to have a honest and humble relationship with God and the people around me. Not only am I clean and sober, but also I am happy and fulfilled.

    Tommy Parker
  • Discovery Place and the men who work there made recovery attractive, and more importantly, fun. There is strength in the struggle. I am forever grateful for my time at Discovery Place.

    Creed McClellan
  • When I got to Discovery Place my whole life was in shambles, but I didn’t know it. I spent 6 months in their programs, participating in all three phases, and was met with kindness and love all along the way. It is unbelievable to me, where I am now relative to where I was when I arrived at DP.

    Lance Duke
  • I can never say enough good things about Discovery Place and the people who work there. Before checking in to DP, I was out of options and out of answers. Fortunately, Discovery Place has a solution. Taking suggestions from the staff at DP saved my life, and as a result, I’m now more content and hopeful about life. I’m grateful for Discovery Place showing me how to live a healthy life so that I can become a better man and help the next guy.”

    Tyler Buckingham

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