The Early Signs of Relapse

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The Early Signs of Relapse

Many people think that when someone comes out of addiction treatment, they are now cured and can return to their normal lifestyle. There are two things wrong with this statement. Firstly, there is no cure from addiction. Recovery is a lifelong commitment to remaining clean and sober. Secondly, no recovering addict can live the same way as they did before. It was that same lifestyle that caused them to become addicted to drugs or alcohol. Positive change has to be made in order to achieve recovery. Did you know that the risk of suffering a relapse is at its highest immediately after addiction treatment?

In fact, the US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) state that “There is evidence that approximately 90 percent of alcoholics are likely to experience at least one relapse over the 4-year period following treatment.” While this statistic may be alarming, it doesn’t mean that you or your loved one has to suffer the same fate. Knowing the early signs of relapse will put you ahead of the curve, and will also better prepare you for the challenges that lie ahead.


A recovering addict on the brink of a relapse will prefer to be alone, especially if it means avoiding the people who are supporting and monitoring their recovery efforts. The recovering addict become withdrawn in the presence of others and may begin to stay out later or simply won’t come home at all.

Care-Free & Concern-Free

When a recovering addict shows a lack of interest in their health and personal hygiene, it’s a sign that a relapse may happen soon. Responsibilities at work or at home may also begin to be neglected. This is usually an indication that the recovering addict is ready to give up all of their recovery efforts and to start using drugs or alcohol again.

Missing the Addiction Days

A recovering addict close to a relapse will often miss the days of their drug addiction or alcoholism. They will start to think about it and even mention it in conversations with their loved ones, forgetting about the damage it caused to themselves and the people around them. Reacquainting Themselves with Old Friends that use Drugs or Alcohol

When a recovering addict gets involved with the people that they previously abused drugs or alcohol with, it’s a sure fire sign that a relapse is on the horizon. In rehab, addicts are taught to stay away from people who had a negative influence during the time of their addiction, and spending time with them again will only increase the chances that a relapse will occur.

Dangerous Behaviour

A recovering addict that’s about to relapse will often engage in dangerous activities. These include anything from driving above the speed limit regularly, getting involved in extreme sports and really just anything that causes a thrill. A recovering addict will do this in an attempt to experience a similar high that was previously felt when they abused drugs or alcohol. Should they not experience this feeling, the recovering addict may eventually start using drugs and alcohol again.


A recovering addict on the brink of a relapse may become extremely secretive and private. The person will begin to guard all of their personal items and will begin to hide what they will be doing or where they will be going. At this stage, it’s possible a relapse has most likely already happened and the recovering addict is now doing everything in their power to hide it.

Deserting Treatment

Once rehab has been completed, most addiction treatment centers will offer relapse prevention programs to help the recovering addict to return back into society safely. Recovering addicts on the brink of a relapse will ditch their relapse prevention program, usually without any reason at all.

Relapse Prevention Help

It’s important to understand that a relapse is not the end of the world. What is key is that recovering addicts need to learn from the mistake made and get back on the path of recovery. The best way to do this is by getting treatment inside a good quality addiction rehabilitation center again. We provide access into the best private addiction treatment centers in South Africa, the United Kingdom and Thailand.

Call us now and let one of our qualified addiction counsellors find the best treatment for you or your loved one.

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