Substance abuse relapse is a life-threatening condition. The importance of recognizing the signs of relapse cannot be understated. Whether you have addiction problems yourself, or you loved one has a history of addiction, it is vital to be able to recognize that a relapse is imminent or already in progress.
Signs you are on the verge of a relapse
The threat of relapse can creep up on you in unexpected ways. Stay on top of your recovery by looking out for the following signs that an impending relapse is risking your sobriety.
- Interpersonal relationship problems
- Feelings of depression, anxiety or stress
- Re-emergence of withdrawal symptoms, even if you stopped using long ago
- Feeling resentful of people who are trying to help you
- Romanticizing the days when you were using
- Losing belief in your recovery program (e.g., you stop going to meetings)
- Acting the way you did when you were using (for example, moody and selfish behavior)
- Losing touch with elements that help keep you sober (such as exercise and sober friends)
- Seeking out the company of people you associated with when using
- Becoming highly defensive when anyone points out your change in attitude and behavior
- Believing you are able to use again, occasionally or socially, without falling back into addiction
Signs your loved one has relapsed
According to Everyday Health, 40-60 percent of substance abuse addicts eventually relapse. This means that if you are close to someone who has suffered addition problems in the past, you need to watch out for the signs they are using again. As follows are some of the top indicators to look for, according to Thomas Kosten, MD, of the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
- Drugs, alcohol or money is missing from the house
- Appetite changes
- Talking about relapse
- Defensive and moody attitude
- Displaying negative emotions such as anger and impatience
- Not following treatment recommendations (e.g., skipping meetings or therapy appointments)
- Sleeping problems
- Seeing old “using buddies”
- Acting standoff-ish (not wanting to be around you or other positive people)
If you suspect your loved one is using again or is on the verge of a substance abuse relapse, check out this resource from Renew Media on how to cope with this situation and get your friend or family member the help they need.
When you or your loved one has relapsed, immediate treatment is necessary. Find out about our program and how we can help relapsed addicts get back on track in their recovery.