1. Relapse is a process. It is not an event. Most people think that a relapse is spontaneous or happen instantly. In reality, there are various stages that a person goes through before the final act of using and drinking. At each stage, he/she is presented with the opportunity to take a different action. Thus, preventing a relapse.
2. Identifying warning signs and triggers are integral to a successful recovery. Humans are creatures of habit. Asking an individual to take a different action at a critical moment is difficult. Identifying warning signs and triggers in advance helps the individual to plan out a different course of action. Consult a trained therapist in planning out a recovery schedule.
3. Expect mood swings, anxiety, irritability and disturbed sleep. Most individuals, in early recovery, experience some degree of Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS). PAWS lasts between 6 months and 2 years. Chronic drug use and drinking cause a brain chemistry change. During early recovery, the brain chemistry is slowly returning back to normal. This gradual return causes PAWS. If an individual is expecting himself to be well after detoxification, he might be overwhelmed with these strong emotions.