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When it comes to misconceptions about relapse, everyone thinks they are experts. Our OC drug rehab has heard some crazy things when it comes to what causes people to go back to drinking or using, and we wanted to share a few of those.

Music/Movies/TV/Video Games

Some people have suggested that everything from our tastes in music, to the things we watch on TV, in movies, or in video games affect our chances of sobriety. Not the amount of time we spend with these things, mind you—no, our tastes in these things. Whether you listen to Black Sabbath, Cypress Hill, Justin Bieber, or watch Gangnam Style on repeat all day, it doesn’t matter. Sometimes our tastes change and we move away from the tastes we had when we were in our disease, but our tastes themselves aren’t what take us out—it is the disease itself.

Movies and TV glamorizing drugs and alcohol can be sketchy, but when we work a solid program of recovery, we are not only able to think it through, but often have people we can call on who set us straight when we are wavering. We are no more likely to drink or use based on a movie than we are to hurt someone else after watching a horror movie.

Going to Church/Not Going to Church

While the likelihood of getting loaded goes down as our spiritual relationship with our Higher Power grows, recovery is not about finding organized religion. True, many of us find additional fulfillment in churches, but this is hardly universal, and it is even further away that we will relapse if we do not join one of these groups.

Going to anywhere there might be alcohol

Some of us have heard that if we go to a bar or a nightclub, no matter the reason, that we are sure to get drunk or high. There’s an old saying, “If you go to the barber’s, eventually you’ll get your haircut.” Sure, it isn’t a good idea to go to a bar, by yourself, just to visit your old buddies every day after work, but the Big Book is very clear on these situations. If you have a valid reason for being there, unless it is early in a person’s recovery, the chances are that it isn’t an automatic relapse just for being in the presence of alcohol. In fact, many alcoholics used to keep liquor in their home for when an alcoholic was going through detox on their couch.

What’s The Worst Misconceptions About Relapse?

One of the biggest misconceptions about relapse is that it is a relapse is a single-moment event, when in fact it is actually a series of events that end the relapse phase. Remaining clean and sober requires a desire to stop, but it also requires a constant move towards progress. If we are not working towards improving our spiritual relationship with our Higher Power, then we are moving closer to the next drink or drug.

What are some of the misconceptions about relapse you’ve come across?

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