Be careful, for you are treading into dangerous territory. For the former addict, such small 'samplings' of the former drugs of choice can turn into quite the slippery slope, leading straight back to substance abuse. It is for this reason that many decide to go cold turkey in the first place; when you have a history of addiction, moderation can be almost impossible to achieve. But if you have successfully managed to go this route, how can you know if you're in the midst of a full-blown relapse? The following hints should give you a clue:
Visiting Old Drinking Or Drug Scenes
Like it or not, the people and places you visit can have a huge influence on your behavior. And when you're getting over an addiction to drugs or alcohol, you may be particularly vulnerable in your old haunts. That bar where you used to get wasted? Probably not the best place to visit in your current situation. Addiction expert Carole Bennett tells the Huffington Post that, an applicable saying from AA goes as such: "The more you visit the barber shop, the more likely you are to get a haircut." If you're feeling bored or lonely from the inability to visit your old haunts, it's time to come up with a new group of friends and a new set of activities.
Lack Of Involvement In Recovery Programs
Often, the slide into relapse begins when the recovering addict decides that he or she no longer has time for Alcoholics Anonymous or whatever recovery program helped instigate sobriety in the first place. But without such a program built into your everyday life, you no longer have the support necessary to get you through those moments of temptation. If you've noticed yourself putting less and less time into recovery or dropping the program altogether, it's time to think long and hard about whether you can really afford to do so...and whether this might be a sign of an imminent relapse.
Relapsing is a huge bummer for anyone who has gone through the arduous recovery process. But it's not the end of your sobriety -- just dust yourself off and keep moving forward! The sooner you get back on track, the easier it will be.