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 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
- 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.