While relapse is one of the stages of change in addiction, it does not mean that it must happen to you. It is typically not an event that just happens out of nowhere. When you become aware that you are becoming less functional and less able to cope with sober living, it is easy to turn back to old behaviors. This may mean drinking or using alcohol, cannabis, opiates, stimulants, or other substances. Mental health symptoms, as well as suicidal ideation, plans, and intent, may increase.

Relapse can happen to anyone. A high rate of relapse in the addiction field has been found due to the high prevalence of individuals working through recovery. This occurs regardless of the knowledge of coping skills, an awareness of personal triggers, and an understanding of what relapse signs to watch out for.

Common Relapse Signs to Watch Out For

Relapse is a gradual process that many individuals miss the signs of. There are three stages of relapse: emotional, physical, and mental. One acronym to keep in mind regarding relapse is ‘HALT’: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. Warnings that you may be heading for an emotional relapse include:

  • Denying your emotions toward others
  • Spending most, or all, of your time alone
  • No longer attending 12-Step meetings or staying quiet during these gatherings
  • Avoiding focusing on yourself and instead of putting the attention on others
  • Letting go of activities of daily living such as good self-care, eating healthy proper amounts of food, and keeping to steady sleep routine
Signs That You May Be Heading Toward a Relapse

Signs of a mental relapse include:

  • Experiencing alcohol or drug cravings
  • Ruminating over people, places, and things that surrounded your past substance use
  • Denying that the consequences of your alcohol or drug use were “that bad”
  • Romanticizing past use
  • Haggling
  • Not being honest
  • Scheming ways to regulate your use
  • Trying to find opportunities that could allow you to relapse
  • Actually planning out your relapse

Physical relapse can happen as a full-fledged event or as a momentary lapse. A lapse is where you have your first drink or drug use after being in recovery. Relapse tends to come after the initial lapse, when the use or drinking happens over an extended period of time.

Who Can Help When Relapse Signs are Seen?

Prevention of relapse is one of the essential motivations behind individuals seeking out treatment for their drug and alcohol use disorders. Since addiction is a chronic disease, alternative treatment programs need to be able to explore the concepts surrounding use, misuse, relapse, intervention, and prevention with clientele.

At Discovery Place of Burns, Tennessee, we have seen people just like you who needed help before, or after, a relapse. Our nonprofit organization has over 125 Facebook reviews, as well as many testimonials praising our trained staff members. At our very core, we exist to guide men from the depths of addiction to the joys of recovery. We would love to help you learn how to utilize the principals of honesty, perseverance, discipline, tolerance, and love to create a sober, happy, useful, and whole life. Get help today! Call us at 1-800-725-0922.


  • Discovery Place was the answer for my son. He did the 90 day and then the step down program and sober living. We give this organization 10 stars. They met my son where he was …emotionally, mentally, physically. They helped him put his life back on track. Discovery Place employees care about their guests. If your son, brother, nephew, grandson or husband needs excellent supportive care THIS is indeed the facility.

    Kim Morton
    Alumni Parent
  • I have remained sober and it is because of DP. DP is the best place there is, hands down. I keep everyone there in my prayers, and I encourage everyone there to take what they are practicing and do it in their lives, after.

    Roy Mantelli
  • Over the past year, I’ve been putting into actin what Discovery Place taught me, and I have experienced a complete perspective change of the world, and the people in it. I get to be a man of service and love today, and for that I am grateful to Discovery Place.

    Matt Kassay
  • Discovery Place means the world to me. They showed me the tools that I’ve tried to use everyday in my life to think less often of myself, and more frequently of others. I am learning to lend a hand when I am able and to have a honest and humble relationship with God and the people around me. Not only am I clean and sober, but also I am happy and fulfilled.

    Tommy Parker
  • Discovery Place and the men who work there made recovery attractive, and more importantly, fun. There is strength in the struggle. I am forever grateful for my time at Discovery Place.

    Creed McClellan
  • When I got to Discovery Place my whole life was in shambles, but I didn’t know it. I spent 6 months in their programs, participating in all three phases, and was met with kindness and love all along the way. It is unbelievable to me, where I am now relative to where I was when I arrived at DP.

    Lance Duke
  • I can never say enough good things about Discovery Place and the people who work there. Before checking in to DP, I was out of options and out of answers. Fortunately, Discovery Place has a solution. Taking suggestions from the staff at DP saved my life, and as a result, I’m now more content and hopeful about life. I’m grateful for Discovery Place showing me how to live a healthy life so that I can become a better man and help the next guy.”

    Tyler Buckingham

    Thinking About Rehab?

    Learn More About Our Alternative Residential Recovery Programs

      Alternative Drug & Alcohol Treatment Rehab
    • Admissions
    • About Us
    • Contact
    • Talk to someone about your options

      Talk to someone about your options

      Blue Pig Media