10 Signs of Relapse To Look Out For

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According to the NIDA, “Relapse rates for addiction resemble those of other chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma.” A good treatment program can help prevent relapse, but it is important for friends and family members to look for the signs that their loved one may be using drugs again, especially after the program has ended.

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1. Depression

Depression is a common symptom that many individuals struggle with during all points of their recovery. It is important for friends and family members to recognize when their loved one is showing signs of depression and to make sure they are treated accordingly, or relapse may occur.

2. Drug-Induced Behavior

If you start to recognize that your loved one has begun to act the way they did when they were on drugs, there is a strong possibility that they have relapsed. Some individuals may seem sedated while others may become manic or euphoric.

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3. Finding Drug Paraphernalia

Someone who has gone through addiction treatment and is currently in recovery must get rid of anything that reminds them of their desire to use. However, if you stumble across some type of paraphernalia in the individual’s home or room, it is likely that they are using again. According to the DOI, some of these items may include:

  • Needles
  • Spoons
  • Rubber tubing
  • Eyedroppers
  • Pipes
  • Bongs
  • Cigarette papers
  • Pill bottles
  • Burnt matches

4. Failure to Attend Aftercare Program

signs of relapse

Depression is common during recovery and can lead to relapse.

In many cases, a rehab center will help the individual get set up with an aftercare program once treatment has finished. This may include a 12-step group, individualized drug counseling, or another type of program. If you notice that your loved one has begun to avoid their meeting times or refuses to go altogether, this could be a possible sign of relapse.

5. Secretive Behavior

Most friends and family members of addicts will recognize the signs of secretive behavior: the individual will refuse to tell their loved ones where they are going, whom they will be with, and other details of their life. You may catch the individual in an outright lie as well, which can be a very clear sign that they are using again.

6. Need for Money

If a person undergoes relapse, they will need money to continue taking drugs. They may ask for it constantly, saying it is for other things involved in their recovery, or they may even try to steal it.

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7. New/Old Friends

Noticing that your loved one is spending time around individuals they used to abuse drugs with (or completely new friends not associated with their recovery) is not a favorable sign.

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8. Withdrawal Symptoms

If the individual suddenly goes through withdrawal again for no reason, they have relapsed and will need additional treatment.

9. Lack of Responsibility

When someone who is going through early recovery begins to avoid their responsibilities (whether they involve school, work, or family), this could be a dangerous sign of relapse.

10. Stress

Stress can lead to relapse, so it is important for you to reach out to a loved one who shows signs of stress. Ask if they need to talk or inquire as to why they feel so anxious. Just listening could help prevent the possibility of relapse in this case.

We can help you find treatment. Call (800) 407-7195(Who Answers?) toll free anytime.

the Take-Away

Relapse happens when a person who has overcome addiction uses drugs again. This can be a one time thing, or last for days, weeks, and even years.