What To Do If Someone Relapses

Being close with someone who suffers from a drug or alcohol addiction can be difficult. Sometimes it’s hard to know how to deal with their problem, and it’s stressful to think that they can relapse at any time.

According to the National Institute on Drug abuse, it’s likely for individuals recovering from addiction to relapse at least once through their journey toward recovery. Here are some thoughts to help you understand the process of relapse and how you can help your loved one through it.

Recognizing a Relapse

Addiction is a chronic disease that’s extremely challenging to overcome. Trying to recover and live a life of sobriety won’t happen overnight. It’s important as a supporter of a loved one with addiction to give it time.

Difference Between a Slip and a Relapse

If your loved one is trying to end their drug or alcohol use, it’s important to be aware of their actions and emotions in case they’re signifying a relapse. Many addicts may have a slip, which is a brief encounter with their previously dependent substance.

Usually, a slip will help them realize they made the wrong decision by trying to moderately use again and they’ll return to recovery. A relapse, however, means that your loved one has completely jumped back into their old habits for an extended period of time and can’t return to sobriety on their own.

Signs to Look Out For

If you’ve noticed that someone you love is having a tough time through their recovery and you suspect they’re relapsing, knowing what to look out for can truly save their life. Some of the most common warning signs include:

  • Changes in attitude and behavior in stressful situations
  • Extreme cravings for drugs or alcohol without being able to disengage
  • They become more depressed and begin to isolate themselves
  • They stop going to recovery meetings or support groups
  • They begin convincing themselves that “just one drink” is okay to have
  • Hanging around people who may influence them to relapse

Supporting Your Loved One

It can be hard to understand why someone you love can easily go back to abusing drugs and alcohol after they’re been sober for a long period of time. All you want is for them to be healthy and happy, but addiction is such a devastating disease that it can leave you feeling helpless and stressed.

Talk With Them & Be Compassionate

When it comes to supporting a loved one who has relapsed, be there to offer empathy and do your best to listen to their struggles so you can help give advice. Ask questions, see what the turning point was that caused them to end their sobriety, and most importantly, don’t blame them or make them feel guilty.

Remove Triggers

It’s also a good idea to eliminate anything around the house that might trigger your loved one. For example, if they’re addicted to alcohol, you can easily remove it from the house. You can also refrain from drinking yourself or avoid going to places where alcohol is served.

Don’t Forget About Yourself Too

Remember that, ultimately, your loved one can only get through their relapse when they come to terms with the fact that they need to get help. Don’t overstress or blame yourself for not being able to prevent their relapse. The best thing you can do as a great supporter is to take care of your health so you can provide them with the encouragement they need.

Find Them the Right Help

Myrtle Beach Recovery provides a peaceful environment for you to work through the 12 steps. Feel free to contact us with questions or to set up a tour of our facility. The path to sobriety can get easier, and our experience and amenities can help. Contact us today to learn more. You don’t have to take on the challenges of sobriety alone.