Recognizing and Handling a Relapse

woman trying her best at handling a relapse

Recognizing and Handling a Relapse

By Lakeview Health
Lakeview Health
Published: January 15, 2020

The trip through sobriety is a journey that has many peaks and valleys. Unfortunately, sometimes the low points in the valleys can mean relapse. The common assumption is that the moment someone takes their drug of choice again or takes a sip of alcohol is the time when relapse occurs. But, relapse occurs long before an individual has physically consumed drugs or alcohol again – it begins the exact moment someone decides to abandon their recovery plan and revert to old ways. Once this occurs, a relapse can quickly spiral out of control.

Recognizing Relapse

There are several indications that an individual struggling with a substance abuse problem has mentally relapsed. Among these are:

  • Complaints of feeling bored or dissatisfied with life or are demonstrating signs of depression
  • They’re not eating healthily or regularly, and are eating too much or too little
  • Sleep patterns have become erratic
  • They either aren’t getting or are becoming obsessive about physical exercise
  • They’ve stopped attending recovery meetings, or if they are attending, they have stopped actively participating
  • Distancing our isolating themselves socially and emotionally
  • They reject offers for help from friends or family
  • Have not actively tried to rebuild their lives after the rehab program
  • They don’t have any hobbies or interests
  • Are emotionally erratic, getting angry or irritated easily
  • Have surrounded themselves with people who are still using drugs or alcohol
  • They routinely announce grandiose, unrealistic plans

If someone you care about is behaving in these or other worrisome ways, it is worth reaching out to a healthcare professional.

Handling Relapse

Relapse happens – but the difference between saving a life and losing one is how the person responds to their relapse. When handled appropriately, a relapse does not have to be the “end of the world.” However, if not handled correctly or in a timely fashion, it can be extremely difficult to stop and can even lead to death.

If a bad relapse occurs or extends over a period of time, it may be necessary for an individual to go into a drug or alcohol rehab program. Detox and treatment can help the suffering individual to get their life and sobriety back on track.

One thing is certain: the best way to prevent relapse is to recognize the behaviors that precede one. There are many signs that a relapse may be in the future. It could be not going to meetings anymore, not spending time with a sober support network, or not working with a sponsor. Relapse prevention is required to achieve long-term sobriety. If one can recognize these signs, then they give themselves a better chance at attaining quality sobriety and a life free from addiction.

Contact Lakeview Health Today

The best tool that you have when handling relapse is education and support. By contacting a team of healthcare professionals like the one at Lakeview Health, you can get a definition of relapse and learn more about relapse indicators. But more importantly, you can lay the groundwork for a healthy, happy like for someone you care about. Contact Lakeview Health today by calling 866.704.7692. When relapse occurs, we’ll be here to help.