The prospect of a relapse is a rather taboo subject and something that is often overlooked and understated during the recovery process.  It is important to note that relapse is a gradual occurrence that takes shape over the course of time.  Rarely does a single event trigger a relapse, rather it is usually a chronic and ongoing stressor that eventually builds and becomes too overwhelming.  Most people who have been through treatment are unaware of just how easy it can be to slip back into the old habits of using and abusing.  Even when they have identified the potential causes for concern it can sometimes be too late.  There are typically three areas where relapses originate and they are either on the physical, mental or emotional planes of existence.  

Physical Cues

The telltale indicator of an impending relapse on the physical level is pretty straightforward really, the person starts using again.  The person is drinking or using drugs again with the intent of escaping reality.  Even to the extent that the person may be prescribed drugs legitimately, the fact remains that they are displaying clear signs of a full-scale relapse.   

Emotional Stressors

Our emotions are sometimes the greatest gauge of how we truly feel at any given time.  Human beings inability to govern their emotional constitution is the reason why we tend to find ourselves in precarious situations.  There are a number of giveaways when it comes to a former addict being on the brink of a relapse brought on by emotional turmoil.  

Bipolar disorder, manic depressives and individuals suffering from acute anxiety.

Easily agitated and quick to deflect criticism or suggestion.

Reserved and reclusive demeanor and unwillingness to embrace change.

Poor hygiene and disheveled appearance.

All of these issues can be addressed in a productive and sincere manner, as long as the person recognizes the need to adopt a new strategy more conducive to a healthy lifestyle.  Much of these traits are mirrored in individuals suffering from Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) which can linger for up to two years after undergoing detox.  Talk therapy has proven to be very useful in people who exhibit these signs and symptoms.  

Mental relapse

Mental relapse can be thwarted provided the person keeping tabs on the addict notices behavior not consistent or aligned with that person’s ideals and personality.  Being hyper focused on the addict and vigilant to any mental irregularities is crucial.  Outwardly a person can seem cool, calm and collected, yet inside they are on the verge of a meltdown.  In this respect it is necessary to seek out subtle clues in their choices of language and verbal cues.  It’s imperative that if you notice anything that is slightly off or awry that you mount a preemptive strike.  Talking in a loving and understanding tone can prevent that person from doing harm to themselves or acting irrationally.  Keep an eye peeled for the following:

Sudden risk taking behavior and keeping bad, or questionable company around.

Rationalizing their old drug abuse and toxic lifestyle.

Pathological lying and fraudulent activity.

Sudden withdrawal of participation in group meetings and talk therapy.

Little desire to improve and succeed.

Preliminary Steps

If you think you might be close to a relapse, reach out and get help from your support network.  Your sponsor, group therapy and meetings are vital in continuing down the path of sobriety.  It is vital to have a solid foundation by your side.  If you need additional help please don’t hesitate to give us a call, day and night at 1-877-721-7719.