relapse signs

Early Warning Signs of a Relapse

There is no doubt anymore that drug and alcohol abuse and addiction is a very real and a very concerning issue in this country, one of which seems to only get worse and worse as the years go by, bringing with it a wide range of other problems that have to be dealt with. Now, the governmental organizations in charge of monitoring drugs in the country and drug and alcohol abuse, in general, have found that substance abuse is the single most concerning health problem that we face as a nation, and such organizations are in agreement that drug and alcohol addiction is a full-on epidemic.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has reported that there are over twenty-three million Americans who are addicted to drugs and alcohol.  With numbers like these, it becomes very upsetting and very concerning for American families who have to deal with having a loved one amongst them who are struggling with addiction. One of the biggest problems that go along with having a family member or loved one who suffers from addiction is that, even if they do get help at a treatment center, they still might relapse at some point after that.


Relapse is the greatest fear for recovering addicts who have beaten addiction and for their families too. Relapse prevention becomes the key focus for recovering addicts and their family members in order to avoid slipping into old habits of drug and alcohol abuse. One of the keys to creating successful relapse prevention is being able to detect signs of relapse that might be right around the corner. If you are concerned for a family member or loved one who you feel might be heading towards a relapse, consider this list that shows the signs and symptoms of an upcoming relapse:

  • Not showing up for work on time, or not showing up for work at all. Person is always late.
  • Noticeable drop in work place production and work quality in general. Person is not producing as well at work.
  • Person looks worse for wear, disheveled, unprofessional, unhealthy, ill kept, etc.
  • Person is reminiscing about their days as a substance abuser and is almost wishing that those days would come back.
  • The person is not spending as much time with their family members and loved ones as they used to.
  • The person is not spending as much time working on their hobbies or activities or being as involved in their groups as they used to.
  • The person seems to be more stressed out than usual and seems to be just having a harder time in life than they used to.
  • The person has been talking about going on a bender again and has been fantasizing about it even if they say they are not going to do it.
  • The person seems withdrawn and reticent more often than not and has not been as communicative as they used to.
  • The person has been acting sort of critical and negative towards people who he or she usually cares very much about.
  • The person seems distant and sort of not in present time. Sort of like they are daydreaming or dozing off in the middle of the day mentally.

These are all signs that a relapse might be right around the corner. If you see these signs in a loved one, it is recommended that you move quickly and that you take action. The truth of the matter is that a relapse really could be very near and you need to jump in and address it before it happens.