Distress is a part of everyone’s lives. When physical, psychological, or social anguish becomes too overwhelming and there is a lack of healthy coping mechanisms and support, relapses may happen. The relapse of a loved one could seem as though it were a plotted-out event, or it could catch you blindly. However, relapse is a slow progression with distinct signs.

Emotional Relapse

No one wakes up in the morning thinking, “Gee, today would be a great day to relapse!” Instead, emotions and associated behaviors unconsciously set a person up to relapse. Denial, as an example, plays a huge role in emotional relapses.

An important acronym utilized in recovery is HALT: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. Often, these four situations are relapse triggers. If you notice any of the following signs in a loved one, they may on the verge of an emotional relapse:

  • Hiding their emotions.
  • Spending most of their time alone.
  • Avoiding self-help meetings or not sharing when they do attend.
  • Concentrating on others instead of themselves, which can be in regard to other’s issues or how others are distressing your loved one.
  • Self-care, such as eating and sleeping, have declined.

Mental Relapse

During a mental relapse, there is a battle of “Use”/ “No, don’t use” raging inside your loved one’s mind. As time goes on, the need to escape trumps the necessity to stay clean and sober. Look for the following to help recognize a potential mental relapse:

  • Cravings for drugs of alcohol.
  • Memories of, or seeking out, things associated with their active addiction lifestyle (people, places, and things).
  • Romanticizing prior use or stating that the consequences to their use were not that bad.
  • Haggling, deceitfulness, or scheming.
  • Looking for ways in which he or she could relapse or even hints of stated plans to relapse.

Relapse Prevention and Treatment

Signs of either mental and emotional relapse can lead to physical relapse. If you are in the beginning phases of a relapse, it is crucial that you seek treatment that can help you to identify what is going on in your mind, as well as with your behaviors. To gain sobriety, you will need to make a lot of changes in your life; the people with whom you associate, the places you may frequent, and the things you might do for fun will all need to change. In the past, bending the rules may have encouraged your continued use of alcohol or drugs. In sobriety, you will need to stick to the rules. They are there for a reason.

You will need to develop a life where it is easier to not use than to use. As difficult as it may be, maintaining honesty and asking for help when you need it can be your saving grace. Allow yourself to know that self-care is not selfish. It is a needed aspect for reminding yourself you are good enough to deserve a sober lifestyle.

The earlier help is sought out, the better probability of maintaining your sobriety. Working with trained professionals at the Discovery Place in Burns, Tennessee will allow you to gain healthy coping mechanisms. Developing a lifestyle that supports your recovery does not need to be done alone.

Family support encourages individuals to stay sober. That does not mean that, as a loved one of someone in an alternative treatment program, you are not also in a tough situation. At the Discovery Place, we know how much family really matters.

With programs designed with long-term recovery in mind, such as, “30 Day”, “Long-Term”, “Continuing Care”, and “Family Matters”, you have more than enough tools to set you on your path towards recovery. If you or a loved are in need of a Tennessee long-term drug and alcohol addiction recovery program, call Discovery Place 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

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