For a drug addict, maintaining sobriety can be challenging. According to AION Health Group, addiction is a chronic disease. It is why there is always the possibility of a relapse. Understanding the warning signs of a drug relapse can help avoid or mitigate the risks.
It is easier to pull back from the earlier stages of relapse than later stages. Therefore, it is essential to monitor recovering addicts while paying attention to drug relapse prevention tips. Here are the early warning signs of a drug relapse.
The Stages of Drug Relapse
Drug relapse can be divided into three stages. They include emotional, mental, and physical relapse.
It is the first stage of drug relapse. During this stage, the recovering addict doesn’t even think about using drugs. They recall that the last time they abused drugs wasn’t pleasurable and is something they wouldn’t dare try again. However, their behavior and emotions can lead to relapse in the future. The leading cause of emotional relapse is the lack of proper self-care. It can be because of poor hygiene, lack of sleep, poor diet, and lack of exercise.
In this stage, the recovering individual starts to think about using drugs again. They also know about the consequences of using but are afraid of them. The individual should tell a friend or relative what is going on.
It is the last stage of drug relapse. At this point, the recovering addict starts using actual drugs. They abuse drugs when there is a small window of opportunity, and when they know, no one will catch them.
Early Warning Signs of Drug Relapse
1. Elevated Stress
Elevated stress and difficulty coping with stress are an early warning sign that the recovering addict is likely to experience drug relapse. Returning to normalcy after spending time in a residential treatment facility can be stressful.
To know if an individual is stressed, identify if they have mood swings or any exaggerated feelings.
2. Withdrawal from Social Gatherings and Activities
Starting to feel uncomfortable around their peers and making excuses to withdraw from social gatherings and activities indicate the individual is likely to relapse. Moreover, they are likely to change their earlier daily routine that they developed while they were recovering.
3. Depression and Anxiety
Depression and anxiety can trigger drug relapse. Depressed individuals use drugs to combat depression. Watch out for the following symptoms of depression and anxiety:
- Daily fatigue
- Feeling worthless
- Thinking about suicide and death
- Lack of sleep
- Weight loss or gain
- Lack of interest in previously enjoyed services
4. Hopelessness and Self-Pity
At some point, a recovering addict can feel pity for themselves and even question why they are quitting drugs. Moreover, they will revisit the time they used to abuse drugs and how they felt. When this happens, the individual is likely to experience a drug relapse.
5. Reconnecting With Toxic Individuals
When an individual is about to be replaced, they are likely to hang with their old friends, who still use drugs. As a result, it is easier for them to start using drugs again.
The above are early warnings of a drug relapse. Following drug relapse prevention tips will prevent a recovering addict from using drugs again.