Being able to identify the warning signs of relapse in someone you love is the best way to help them avoid relapsing. Relapse is a terrifying fear once you have already gone through rehabilitation. You can begin to feel the world tightening around you to the point of suffocation. This stress can build and frustrating situations in life only add to the fire. The first thing you need to do for your loved one is gain the ability to identify the warning signs of substance abuse relapse. Whether they are about to fall back into their addiction or have already succumbed, the faster you get them back on track, the better off they’ll be.
Common Signs of Relapse
- Look for any indications that they stopped committing to their routine of staying abstinent. This can include skipped counseling sessions or hanging out with old friends that you know is involved with their substance abuse past. When they have fallen into substance abuse relapse, they stop caring about the rules and routines designed to keep them in a safe and nurturing environment and become more and more reckless. It may start out small and gradually build to their old lifestyle over time.
- Romanticizing the past is another clear indication of relapse. They will begin to talk about how good they used to feel or how much better life was when they were using their substance. They quickly forget about the ruined relationships, suffering work life, and the other pitfalls of substance abuse.
- Having a defensive or frustrated attitude whenever anything in the realm of substance abuse comes up is another one of the signs of relapse. Obviously, it is socially unacceptable for this person to use their substance in public, so if they have relapsed, they could be suffering from minor withdrawal symptoms in public. Be on the lookout for these mood swings and general irritably.
- When your loved one is starting to separate themselves from everything that’s been keeping them balanced, then you know it’s time to confront them about substance abuse relapse. People that have fallen into relapse will begin moving away from the friends, family, work, and hobbies because they know these connections will suffer when their relapse comes to light. They simply don’t want people to get involved and stop them from using again. While many cases won’t be as drastic as quitting their job or moving away from home, but you will start to see them emotionally pull away from the things that once brought them joy.
Substance abuse is a serious matter that cannot be ignored when you witness these fundamental warning signs of relapse. It never hurts to talk to your loved one if you have concerns about them relapsing. Just make sure they feel comfortable coming to you about substance abuse and relapsing issues.