Relapse Symptoms: What to Look Out For

digitalengagehelp December 10, 2021 0 Comments

Relapse is a very common occurrence in addiction recovery. In fact, research suggests that it can happen as often as 40% of the time after treatment for substance abuse. One of the most important things to know about relapse and its symptoms is this: people don’t always go back to their old habits right away! So what should you be looking out for?

Signs of Relapse

It all starts with a feeling of being stressed out or overwhelmed. If you start to notice these feelings arise, the first thing to do is take a step back and check in on your recovery program. Have you been sleeping well? Are there things going on in your life that have been difficult lately? Ask yourself what might be causing excess stress.

Inability to sleep

The more you try to sleep but can’t, the more anxiety and stress build-up. Sometimes this leads people into relapse as they may begin self-medicating at night with alcohol or drugs. If your body is so exhausted from being unable to rest for days on end that it feels like you have no choice but to take a pill or drink, you are putting yourself at risk for relapse.

Lack of interest in your hobbies

If your usual hobbies, interests, and friends aren’t as interesting anymore, this is a sign something might be wrong. This can also lead people into drug or alcohol use if they feel bored all the time with no way to relieve the boredom.

New friends, less interest in old ones

Is your usual group of friends disappearing? Are they inviting you out to places that might put you at risk for drug or alcohol use (i.e., bars)? If so, this is a major red flag and should be addressed as soon as possible!

Noticeable changes in mood

If you’re feeling irritable, sad, or grumpy for no reason, this may be a sign that something is wrong. If your friends and family are telling you that they notice these shifts too, it’s time to take action! Seek help before relapse becomes an issue.

Change in physical appearance

Just like addiction can change the person on the inside, withdrawal from addiction can change your physical appearance. This may manifest itself in weight gain or loss, changes to hygiene (or lack thereof), and more.

If you notice yourself becoming less active than usual or not taking care of yourself like before, this is another sign that it’s time to seek help for recovery!

Anxiety or agitation

Addiction is an altered mental state. When you take drugs or drink, your mind feels different than it does without addiction. You may feel more anxious or agitated if these substances are no longer in your system (or they aren’t as strong).

A feeling of hopelessness and depression can lead people back to using because their tolerance has lowered significantly.

Lack of motivation in recovery activities

If you find yourself no longer attending therapy or participating in support groups, this is a sign that something may be wrong. If your old sober friends no longer want to be around you, it’s time for a change.

Noticing a lack of patience with others

Do you feel irritable with your loved ones when they ask you to do things? Do you snap at them for small annoyances? This is a sign that addiction relapse could be in the future. Withdrawal from substances can often cause irritability and mood swings.

Bottom Line

If you notice these signs arise it’s time to reevaluate your recovery program! Are there things that have been bothering you but don’t seem worth addressing? Do you need more support in your life? This is a major sign that relapse could be on the horizon if left unaddressed.

Emmaus Medical & Counseling provides outpatient services to people with substance use disorder. We specialize in helping adolescents and adults get back on track towards a healthy, sober lifestyle. If you would like more information about our programs or treatment options, please get in touch with us today.

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