It is not always easy to tell when a relapse may be approaching. Often, however, certain behaviors occur, leading up to a relapse. If you understand these behaviors and become able to recognize them, you can get help when you need it. Being aware of these signs is also a great way to self-reflect on your progress and potentially prevent relapse from occurring.

What Is a Relapse?

To watch for signs of relapse coming into play, it is important to understand what a relapse is. These are some behaviors that people may not realize are considered a relapse.

Relapse is the use of a substance after maintaining sobriety. In some situations, people stop their addictive behavior for a while but slowly begin to use it again to a minimal extent. Because this use is much less severe than what they used to engage in, they may not think of it as a relapse. However, any use of an addictive substance during recovery is relapse.

Also, relapse can encompass more than using a substance again. This term can also be used when people abruptly stop attending meetings or engaging in their treatment process. Essentially, a relapse can be seen as a form of giving up on recovery.

Behaviors to Watch For

Many of the relapse warning signs appear early. This gives you plenty of time to recognize the behavior and get help.

If you do not succeed in pinpointing these warning signs, you can learn from them and try again. Behaviors leading to relapse are essential to understand. After all, they can interrupt the recovery process and potentially set you back.

#1 Disengagement With Treatment

Do you find that you are slowly losing interest in the treatment process? This commonly happens as individuals reach a period without feeling the effects of their accomplishments.

Watch for signs of yourself missing meetings, feeling unmotivated to attend, lacking attention during meetings, or disengaging with your treatment team. This can be early detection of potential relapse. If you notice yourself disengaging, bring it up to your treatment team. They can help you find what is not working in your current plan and adjust it. 

#2 Lack of Self-Care

Self-care is important in maintaining your mental health and emotional regulation. Not everyone in treatment has a self-care routine established. They may still be trying different self-care practices to see what works for them.

Regardless of your current situation, try to pay attention to trends in your overall self-care. If you find that you are slowly neglecting your self-care practices or simple hygiene routines, you may be losing motivation. This may mean you are at higher risk of relapsing. Acts of aggression, inability to manage stress, and impulsive behaviors often follow after a lack of self-care. If you notice these behaviors, talk to your treatment team and re-engage with self-care.

#3 Self-Isolation

If you find yourself distancing from the others around you without reason, spreading more time alone, or dreading communication with others, you may be self-isolating. This is another key sign that you may be at risk for relapse.

There are many dangers involved with self-isolating in treatment. Not everyone is naturally outgoing and social. However, even introverts benefit from healthy, supportive relationships.

Staying in Recovery

If you notice these signs or behaviors, it is important to seek help. This may be a good time to reassess your treatment plan and determine specific changes that need to be made to keep you on the path to success. Catching these behaviors early on allows time to solve potential problems before they manifest in reality. Paying attention to these behaviors is a great way to stay accountable for your recovery success.

Continuing to allow these behaviors to occur can lead them to become a habit. If this continues, you may risk the loss of motivation in various areas of recovery. It is important to maintain your motivation for recovery and your overall well-being. Remember that you will always have minor setback in recovery. Don’t let these behaviors set you off track of your success.

The best way to handle these issues is to acknowledge them and communicate about them. By discussing these aspects with your therapist, you can make a plan to move forward. As you recognize any of these behaviors occurring, try to reverse the effects. For example, if you find that you are self-isolating, make it a point to get out and socialize. You may not want to at first, but simple actions can get you out of a rut and push you forward.

Aftercare Options

Staying engaged in our aftercare program is a great way to ensure you are keeping a focus on recovery. It can be easy to lose sight of recovery when outside stress distracts us. However, times of stress are especially important times to prioritize recovery.

Our outpatient program may be an option to consider. If you have completed this stage already, you can stay engaged with our alumni meetings and continue attending therapy. As an alumnus of Dream Recovery, you are always welcome back if in need of any assistance.

When people relapse, they often assume it is a sudden occurrence or mistake. However, key behaviors often occur leading up to a relapse. If you are aware of what these behaviors are, you can use them as warning signs to help you prevent relapses before they happen. Keeping an eye out for these behaviors can keep you on track. Noticing these signs early on, you have a higher potential of reversing their effects before they worsen. This is a great way to maintain accountability for your sobriety. If you notice any of these behaviors, seek help immediately. To learn more about the behaviors that may lead to relapse and how to move past them, call Dream Recovery at (949) 732-1960.

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