For those in recovery, staying sober is a continuous process. It is especially important to remain vigilant for the warning signs of relapse. Relapse can happen suddenly, but usually, there are indicators that begin to appear early on. Recognizing and responding to these signs can be the difference between long-term sobriety and falling back into addiction. In this post, we will take a comprehensive look at the warning signs of relapse that individuals and their loved ones can watch out for and the practical tips they can implement for staying sober.
1. Changes in Mood and Behavior
A significant indicator of relapse is sudden changes in mood or behavior. These changes could include irritability, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, isolation, or becoming overconfident in one's recovery. These mood changes may indicate that the individual is beginning to feel overwhelmed and may result in using relapse behaviors to cope. As soon as individuals sense any of these symptoms, they should alert their support network and implement self-care techniques like meditation, exercise, or journaling to combat their stressors.
2. Physical Health
Physical health changes could also be a sign of relapse. Individuals in recovery must be mindful of their physical health. Significant changes could indicate that the body's immune system is under attack and is struggling to fight off illness or that the individual is neglecting their health. Lost weight, poor eating habits, or sleeping issues alongside mood changes may precede a relapse. Such symptoms may require medical attention and practical tools to ensure one’s general health.
3. Loss of Accountability
When individuals stop being accountable for their actions and behaviors, it opens up the possibility of relapse. Personal accountability should always be one of the most significant recovery tools. For those in recovery, having a support network and taking responsibility for their actions can help prevent relapse. When individuals start lying or become defensive, it can indicate that they are experiencing challenges in their recovery.
Feelings of self-doubt and insecurity can put one's recovery at risk. For many people during addiction recovery, the coping mechanism is the use of drugs or alcohol as a way of hiding or numbing intense feelings. When in recovery, individuals must learn to conquer those emotions by using healthy coping mechanisms. Those in recovery must develop self-confidence and meditate affirmations that uplift their soul. Building self-confidence can be a significant step towards preventing relapse.
5. Seeking Constant Highs
Another sign of relapse to be on the lookout for is the constant desire to be in a consumption mode. At times, sober living can feel monotonous compared to when an individual is under substance influence. For some, the need for ecstasy, euphoria, and extra adrenaline push is attractive. But it is dangerous. Individuals must be willing to accept that life has its ups and downs. Like other recovery processes, it is vital to develop healthy coping mechanisms to overcome the lows in one's life.
Recovery is a lifetime journey that requires constant vigilance and attention. Relapse is a possibility that everyone in recovery must be aware of. Recognizing the warning signs of relapse and proactively addressing them is essential for preventing it.
An Experienced Team You Can Trust
Since 2004, Decision Point Center has been at the forefront of delivering outstanding, personalized care to individuals grappling with substance abuse and addiction. We believe that addiction is a chronic disease that needs to be managed throughout one's life and understand the far-reaching impact that it can have on mental health, relationships, and personal wellness.
We are dedicated to being the beacon of hope for those struggling with addiction, providing the highest level of care, support, and compassion at every turn.