What Are the Signs of a Relapse?

Anyone who has been there themselves will agree that staying sober during and after rehab is not easy. However, this is not the opinion of just a select few; several studies show that this is, in fact, the case. One of those studies comes from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which revealed the overall relapse rate associated with substance abuse disorders is between 40 and 60%. The keyword in that statement is “overall,” suggesting that individuals are relapsing while they are still in rehab and after returning to the “real world.” Although the potential for relapsing is high, it can be avoided, especially when individuals have the support of their friends and family.

Relapse by the Numbers

When it comes to addiction recovery, the relapse rate is higher for some substances than others. And this is substantiated in the same study published by SAMHSA. With a relapse rate of 78.2%, heroin is one substance many people have trouble staying away from long-term. Other substances linked to a high rate of relapse include

  • Alcohol – 68.4%
  • Cocaine – 61.9%
  • Methamphetamines 52.2%

What Rehab Facilities Are Doing to Help Keep Relapses to a Minimum

The statistics detailed in this article are not meant to deter anyone from going to rehab so they can get the help they need to break the cycle of addiction. Instead, the intent is to make it abundantly clear just how difficult the road to sobriety can be for some people. To further drive this point, studies show the average person trying to get sober will have to go into a treatment program more than once before they finally achieve sustained recovery. And the vast majority of rehab facilities across the U.S. are acutely aware of this. As such, many offer various forms of psychotherapy with a licensed therapist.

The most common ones include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational enhancement therapy, and marital and family counseling. These one-on-one and group counseling sessions can set individuals up for success since they provide them with the skills they need to better cope with temptation and cravings. Beyond that, they help them identify triggers in their life that led to them using and how to avoid them going forward.

What Are the Tell-Tale Signs of a Relapse?

Sometimes, despite the efforts made by a rehab facility and having the support of caring friends and family, some people still fall victim to relapse. While this is unfortunate, there is still hope. One slip-up does not mean individuals have to live the rest of their life enslaved to drugs or alcohol. And this is especially true when signs of relapse are recognized early and, of course, the person who relapsed goes back to rehab as quickly as possible. Bearing that in mind, here are a few of the signs that might suggest an individual trying to overcome an addiction has suffered a relapse:

  • Change in attitude, behavior, and overall mood
  • Heightened stress
  • Resumption of denial
  • Poor judgment
  • No longer wanting to spend time with friends or family

In addition to these tell-tale signs of relapse, many people will experience withdrawal symptoms again when they have to go without their drug of choice. Some of the withdrawal symptoms that most will find themselves revisiting include

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Insomnia and hypersomnia
  • Memory loss
  • Nausea and vomiting

All in all, relapse is akin to picking up where one left off. But studies show that those who accept that they have made a mistake and quickly go back to rehab usually achieve long-term sobriety on the second go-round. Some achieve it on the third go-round. No matter how many tries it takes, those who don’t give up will eventually get it right.

Bottom Line

In summary, relapse is part of the getting-clean experience for a large percentage of people trying to end their relationship with drugs, alcohol, or both. If you or someone you know have suffered a relapse, our caring and knowledgeable addiction specialist can help. Consider contacting us today at 833-680-0165.