A relapse is when an addict starts to use drugs or alcohol again. It can be their old substance of choice or they start abusing a new substance. After recovery from drug abuse and addiction, it’s important to be aware of how relapse can occur. It’s also important for friends, family, coworkers, etc to know what to look out for if they know someone in recovery. While relapse is often unexpected, there are a few signs that can help someone realize that it is near.
Change in Behavior
If someone is acting strange or suddenly becoming irrational in different scenarios, it could be a sign of relapse. In many situations, this change in behavior is not necessarily a change in character, but can be a cover-up for an underlying issue such thoughts of using drugs or alcohol again. If you notice this you can ask questions to try to get to the root of the problem and see why someone is acting a certain way. Your loved one may even open up to you if they see that you care about what’s going on.
Isolation, also known as social disassociation, occurs when someone keeps to themself. If a person is on the verge of a relapse, they will refuse to attend events with friends and family, or will suddenly cancel plans to avoid social interaction. They have no interest in going out in public or connecting with others.
When the Mundane Becomes Unmanageable
If someone is struggling to do basic day-to-day things like cook for themself, manage their hygiene, or get dressed, this can be a sign of an oncoming relapse. Addiction is consuming and the thought of using again trumps all other thoughts. If someone is thinking of using again it will be all that they think about. Brushing their teeth or cleaning up after themselves won’t be a priority.
Signs of Depression
Depressive states and feelings can also be a sign of relapse. This is because of the elevated stress and the fear of failing when starting a new life after recovery. For some people, the pressure to find success after rehabilitation can be overwhelming. This can lead to a period of depression. Depending on how they respond to the depressive symptoms and feelings, this state can sometimes lead to relapse if unsupported or untreated.
Change in Routine
When someone who has been sober suddenly decides to go out at night or hang out with the people that subjected them to their lifestyle while on drugs or alcohol, this could definitely be a sign of relapse. While we’d like to think that this isn’t possible, or that a person could not go back to their habits, it happens more often than we think.
However, it’s possible to prevent this change in routine. By giving a person responsibilities and a different routine, you can potentially keep them away from the things that once lead to their drug abuse. Either way, it is important to recognize that a sudden change in routine could mean that someone is looking for a way to use drugs or alcohol again.
Recovery is a Journey, Not a Destination
Relapse is scary. Whether you’re a recovering drug addict or you know someone who is, it’s important to educate yourself as much as possible about the warning signs for relapse. Those in recovery have worked hard to become sober and have to work hard to remain sober.
If you are looking for further information or resources about how to know the signs for relapse, please contact us at Principles Recovery Center in Davie, Florida. We are here to support you and help you to find the assistance you need in order to keep drug abuse and addiction out of your life and the lives of those around you.