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Recognizing the Signs of Relapse

woman with head in hand considers the signs of relapse

Recovery from a substance use disorder is not always a linear journey. Sometimes relapse is a part of the story, but that doesn’t mean that that person can’t recover. It is imperative to understand that recovery looks different for every person and that there are different methods of treatment that work better for some than others.

Relapse is not uncommon and is not an indication of failure, but it can be a painful and sometimes debilitating experience. In order to take as many precautions as possible to prevent relapse, it can be beneficial to include relapse prevention therapy in a treatment program. Skywood Outpatient implements these techniques to provide its valued clients with the most productive path to a smooth recovery. Call 248.617.6237 or reach out online today to learn more.

Signs of Relapse

Addiction is chronic, and relapse is a possibility for anyone in recovery, no matter how long they have abstained from their drug of misuse. If relapse does occur, it can be challenging to get back on the road to recovery, and some people never make it back. One particularly challenging aspect of relapse is that for people who have not used a drug for a long stretch of time, their body no longer has a tolerance built up for that substance. If a person like this does relapse, they often use the amount of a substance associated with the height of their addiction, which is very dangerous. Their body is not accustomed to this level of drug, and relapse can result in injury or death.

It is important to know the signs of relapse so that you or your loved one can receive help before the incident occurs. The following are some signs that relapse may be on the horizon:

  • Revisiting old connections from addiction
  • Social isolation
  • Poor stress responses
  • Detachment from support systems
  • Discussion of using

If you recognize these signs of relapse in yourself or a loved one, it may be time to reach out to specialists at Skywood Outpatient to get back on the road to sobriety.

Stages of Relapse

For many people, there is no one definite sign or event that occurs before relapse. It is often a process that occurs in stages. The three stages of relapse most commonly understood are

  • Emotional
  • Mental
  • Physical

First, a person’s emotional stability begins to waver. They might experience negative feelings like heightened anxiety, anger, or restlessness. They may begin to have extreme reactions to stress, poor sleeping or eating habits, and reduced interest in recovery.

The mental stage of relapse occurs once a person has given in to emotional relapse and is often difficult to come back from. This stage involves an individual making the decision to use again, usually after an internal struggle about whether they want to stay sober. Usually, by this time, a person has cut ties with their support system and makes preparations to use.

The physical act of relapse is the last to occur and usually happens fairly quickly after the mental stage is complete.

Relapse Prevention Techniques

Implementing certain routines and behaviors at the onset of recovery can be beneficial in preventing relapse. A healthy diet, consistent exercise, joining a support group, creating healthy connections, sticking to a regular sleep schedule, and minimizing stress are all ways to improve the likelihood that relapse does not occur. It is important to understand the underlying causes of addiction in each person and treat them accordingly. Professionals can help to counsel or prescribe medications necessary to keep those recovering from a substance use disorder on the desired path. It is important as a friend or family member of someone displaying signs of relapse to know where to turn for help.

Skywood Outpatient Can Help with Relapse Prevention

At Skywood Outpatient, we understand the challenges facing a person in recovery. It is not an easy road, and it is often filled with dangers we can’t anticipate. We work diligently to equip each person with the tools they need to navigate the pitfalls of recovery and stay the course of recovery. Contact us at 248.617.6237 or online today to learn more.