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Updated: August 12, 2021

Watch Out for Risky Behavior in Recovery

For many people in recovery, addiction was an all-consuming lifestyle. When you were using drugs, you probably didn’t worry as much about consequences. Drugs and alcohol can cause people to lose their inhibitions. When it comes to addiction, the compulsion to get high or drunk may be more powerful than the wish to stay out of trouble.

Today, in recovery, you’re supposed to do the next right thing. Instead of reverting to your old behavior, you can challenge yourself to use your new coping skills and make better decisions. But everyone is human and makes mistakes every once in a while, including risky behaviors. Some behaviors you may revert to are considered to be a stepping stone to relapse.

Risky Behavior Is Relapse Behavior

Not everyone changes their behaviors overnight, so you may still be acting out in old behavior patterns when you first get sober. But risky behavior can be a slippery slope. Risky behavior is often impulsive and thoughtless behavior. Unfortunately, it’s also a clear sign that you’re vulnerable to relapse. So if you find yourself creeping into old habits, it’s time to take your inventory and change what you’re doing.

What kind of behavior is considered risky? Typically, it’s anything immoral or illegal that you’ve done that gives you a “rush.” Unfortunately, these rushes, like a physical high, are short-lived and typically cause damage to your life.

Here are some examples of risky behavior:

  • Lying. Whether you’re lying about why you are late to work or something you did wrong in the past, lying will eat at your conscience. And once you’ve told one lie, it may seem easier to keep lying. But deceptive behavior is manipulative and a quick road to relapse.
  • Revisiting old haunts. This includes places you used to drink or get high at and people you used to hang out with.
  • Infidelity or promiscuity. If you are in a committed relationship, you’re violating trust when you cheat on somebody. And when you’re promiscuous, you’re using people for pleasure. In addition, you may make decisions that can put another person in physical danger. (Such as pregnancy or STDs.)
  • Whether you’re lying about how many hours you worked or cheating on a test, you’re stealing. (When you lie about your work hours, you’re stealing from your employer. If you cheat on a test, you’re stealing a grade you don’t deserve.)
  • Stealing is wrong and not justified. As a person in recovery, you have a support network that can help you get your basic needs met. Unfortunately, theft can often become an addiction itself.
  • Speeding or reckless driving. Speeding is a familiar thrill for many people, but ultimately you’re endangering other people just to get an adrenaline rush. So instead, share the road and be a good citizen.

A lot of these patterns may have been second nature when you were living with your active addiction. But as a person in recovery, you are trying to live a good life. So you can focus on putting negative behaviors in the past and concentrate on being a good person today.

If you find yourself reverting to risky behaviors, and you’re unsure how to stop, speak with your sponsor or a therapist. Change is hard, but you can do it! Staying sober one day at a time is just the beginning. You’re now on a lifelong journey to being the most authentic self you can be. The journey is always one day at a time.

Getting Help for Addiction

If you or a loved one is looking for an effective drug rehab in San Diego, call 619-363-4767. We can answer any questions you may have. Give yourself a chance.


If you or a loved one is looking for an effective drug rehab in San Diego, call 619-363-4767. One of our caring members is ready to answer all of your questions.

Get in Touch with Our Caring Team

We are waiting for your call. Don’t hesitate, pick up the phone and dial 619-363-4767 today.

Your first call will be greeted by one of our intake counselors who will be able to provide information on what program would be appropriate for your situation, as well as information about the process of getting treatment at our facility, if appropriate.

If Present Moments is the right fit for your current situation you will be speaking to Admissions Director Mark Gladden, who will be your guide throughout the process of arranging travel and undergoing an initial detox (if necessary). Mark has been the guide for dozens of men and women who have gotten their lives back by entering treatment at Present Moments. He has earned his reputation as being truly dedicated to the recovery of others. Mark will be the one to ‘show you the ropes’ when it comes to admitting to our facility for treatment

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You CAN Achieve Sobriety

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