What Should I Do if My Loved One Relapses?

What Should I Do if My Loved One Relapses?

Entering recovery is a big and difficult decision for those struggling with drug addiction or alcohol addiction and, oftentimes, there is a fear of relapse. In fact, relapse is a major topic of discussion for those who are in treatment programs or partake in support groups in order to help prepare them for dealing with this potential threat. Understanding what signs to look for and what sort of experiences trigger a relapse is important when it comes to helping your loved one stay on track during the recovery process. One of the first realizations one should understand is that recovering from addiction often involves one or more relapses along the way and, in fact, 40% to 60% of people in recovery experience a relapse.

A Slip and a Relapse

They might sound identical, but there is a big difference between a slip and a relapse. A slip is generally a quick encounter one has with the substance he or she is recovering from. When a person slips, he or she will ultimately figure out that the wrong decision was made and quickly return to sobriety, strengthening his or her resolve to stay sober afterward. In some cases, a slip can turn into a relapse if the individual continues to use drugs or alcohol.

When a person relapses, it essentially means that, instead of correcting the slip, the individual will simply continue to abuse the very substances he or she was in recovery for.

Recognizing the Signs of a Relapse

There are always warning signs at the start of a relapse and, though they might vary from person to person, some of the most common concerns for a relapse typically include:

  • Extreme cravings
  • Thoughts of being able to moderately use
  • Romanticizing or glamorizing the use of drugs or alcohol
  • Self-imposed isolation
  • Purposely being in situations and environments that are triggers
  • Changes in behavior or stressful conditions
  • Discontinuing support groups or other networks that nurture sobriety
  • A lack of interests or loss of interest in hobbies

Helping Someone Who Has Relapsed

Helping a relapsing alcoholic or addict can be difficult, so we have compiled a list of helpful pointers:

  • Anyone who relapses should understand that returning to recovery is always possible
  • The sooner a relapsed addict can stop using, the better his or her chances are for minimizing any reversal damage done to the recovery process
  • If your loved one relapses, stay vigilant and continue to encourage him or her to get back into treatment or to seek help as soon as possible
  • Extend your compassion to a person who has relapsed and keep in mind that he or she already feels terrible
  • Remember that you cannot do the work for someone and that, at the end of the day, it falls upon a person to get the help he or she needs

Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center in Arizona

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol, we understand that this is a difficult situation and are here to provide the tools and support that is necessary to overcome this disease. At Blueprints for Recovery, our Arizona rehabilitation center staff is dedicated to helping young men between the ages of 18-30 reclaim their lives from the throes of addiction. No one should have to continue this struggle on their own. Reach out to us for the help you deserve.

Contact our facility at (888) 744-9969 to learn more about what we can do to help you or your loved one.


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