What Are the Signs of Relapse?

young woman seated anxiously in chair with legs drawn up under her and hugging herself wondering what are the signs of relapse

Unfortunately, for many people struggling with a substance use disorder, sobering up is not as simple as removing all traces of drugs or alcohol from their bodies and then experiencing substance-free days for the rest of their lives. Relapse happens more often than many clients would like to admit. The first step to overcoming addiction is to identify the signs of relapse so you can take steps to get the support and help you need.

An aftercare program, like that offered at Seasons in Malibu, is specifically designed to provide support, education, and resources for recovery after treatment has been completed. Staying involved in a robust aftercare program will help you spot the warning signs of drug or alcohol relapse. It provides you with the help you need to maintain sobriety. Call 424.235.2009 today to learn more about our programs and services.

Warning Signs of Relapse

Although everyone experiences addiction differently and has their own unique struggles, there are some common warning signs of potential relapse. Some of these signs of relapse are obvious, and some can be subtle.

Feeling Good Leads to Overconfidence

Recovery often leads to feeling better, eating better, sleeping better, and looking better. With all this positivity, it can be easy to think you no longer need to keep the treatment going. This is not uncommon, as many people with mental health conditions experience relapse for the same reason—they feel better, so they discontinue treatment and medication. However, recovery from behavioral health issues like addiction and mental health requires continuous, vigilant treatment and the proper support to maintain health and well-being.

Overconfidence is one of the first signs of relapse. Friends and loved ones should pay attention to any language that indicates a person is no longer seeking treatment or taking medications because they feel like they have it all handled.

Not Getting Enough Sleep Every Day

Sleep does not just keep you healthy, but it also helps you recover from addiction much more effectively. The general health benefits of getting enough sleep are well known. Sleep helps almost every system of your body rest, recover, and recharge. For many people struggling with substance use disorders or mental health issues, their sleep cycles have been dramatically disrupted. Some may have stayed awake continuously for days before crashing, while others may not be motivated to leave their bedroom for days.

The proper amount of sleep will aid recovery by ensuring you are clear-headed, and rested, and will generally improve your sense of well-being. If you have a friend or loved one in recovery who is demonstrating erratic sleep patterns, it may be a sign of relapse.

Not Getting the Proper Nutrition

Related to sleep, proper nutrition is essential for recovery. Many people with substance use disorders and/or co-occurring mental health conditions do not eat well. They often skip meals and create nutritional deficiencies that lead to further physical and psychological health problems. Your body needs fuel; drugs and alcohol cannot replace a proper diet. A healthy diet (along with adequate sleep) leads to increased wellness.

If you find yourself or a loved one in recovery missing meals or not eating regularly, it may be a warning sign of relapse.

Trying to Help Too Many People at Once

A widespread practice in many drug addiction treatments is to have sober patients sponsor another patient still undergoing treatment. While this can be an encouraging relationship for both people, it could be detrimental to the sober person if they try to help too many people simultaneously. The stress could cause them to start using their preferred substances again.

The sense of hope and well-being is life-changing, and many people in recovery want to share it with those who are still struggling with drugs and alcohol. However, the stress of trying to help too many may trigger them to relapse.

Call Seasons at Malibu if You See Signs of Relapse

While it’s crucial to stay vigilant about warning signs of relapse, it’s also essential to have a robust support system in place. Professional alcohol and drug treatment programs like Seasons in Malibu offer a comprehensive and tailored approach to recovery. They provide clients with the tools, resources, and support to maintain long-term sobriety.

An aftercare program can help individuals better understand their triggers and warning signs of relapse, develop coping skills, and build a strong network of sober support. These programs also offer ongoing therapy sessions to address any underlying mental health issues that may contribute to addiction.

Call Seasons in Malibu 424.235.2009 or reach out online to speak with a team member.