Warning Signs of Relapse

February 19, 2014

Relapse is a very common part of the treatment process. Whether patients slip back into their addiction or consider returning to old behavior, relapse should not be viewed as failure, but should serve as motivation for the patients to pick themselves back up, and try again.

There are, however, warning signs of which those in recovery, and their loved ones, should be aware. Our facilities provide treatment programs that help patients identify, accept and express any and every feeling – even if it hints at relapse.

When Hope Wears Off…

At first, individuals who complete drug or alcohol treatment may feel elated, excited to attend regular support groups and meetings and to keep in touch with the program’s staff. As time goes on, however, that newness may wear off. Maybe they don’t have family checking in as frequently – things can begin to slide.

Those in recovery should keep their emotions in check, watching for returning feelings of depression or anxiety without substances. Daily journals are great tools for recording honest, everyday thoughts.

Family members and loved ones should also be on the lookout for warning signs that their loved one might relapse:

  • Noticeable change in mood/increased depression
  • Easily frustrated
  • Self-pity/feeling sorry for him or herself
  • Loss or lack of interest in support groups
  • Isolation
  • Return to denial of the problem

It’s common to feel that urge to use months, or even years after recovery – but when that urge is accompanied by strong negative emotions, individuals should consider getting help again.

…Find Hope Again

To a person working hard to recover from an addiction, and to their loved ones, relapse may seem like the end of the world. It’s not. A person can get back on the track of recovery, even after relapse – but professional help must immediately be sought.

Hope may be darkened, but it is always there.

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