Compulsive behaviors indicate potential for relapse

September is National Recovery Month, and it’s an opportunity to learn more about what it means for a person to seek help for an addiction and the challenges he or she faces to attain recovery and stay sober. In my work as a substance abuse counselor at ThedaCare Behavioral Health, I have a special interest in helping people in recovery to prevent relapse. 

Many people think that a relapse, or return to using drugs or alcohol after a period of sobriety, is an in-the-moment decision; however, relapse is generally not a singular event. Most often, it’s a process that takes place over a few weeks or months, and sometimes even years.

Research shows that people in recovery start to exhibit thought patterns and behaviors far in advance of their actual return to using. For people in recovery, their families, and counselors, the key is to recognize these behaviors and intervene before active addiction begins again.

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