Should Your Loved One Return to a Drug Rehab Centre? Signs of a Relapse

Should Your Loved One Return to a Drug Rehab Centre Signs of a Relapse

Like any chronic disease, there is no cure for alcohol and substance addiction; there are only ways of managing the addiction. Dr. James Garbutt, a researcher at the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies in North Carolina, U.S., agrees: “Addiction is a chronic illness, and like any other chronic illness, it must be managed over time.” Therefore, constantly checking in with oneself is important, especially during the first few months after leaving a drug rehab centre.

It is important also for loved ones of recovering addicts to be on the lookout for signs of struggle, because they may signal a relapse to come. Addiction recovery treatment is not a guarantee—substance and alcohol addiction is a lifetime fight—and by taking note of a friend’s behaviour, one can help an addict back to a drug rehab centre before the abuse begins again.

Increased Stress

Stress comes from various avenues of life: work, friends, marriage, or finances. If a loved one who has recently finished addiction recovery treatment begins to react inappropriately—bouts of rage, sadness, or despondency—this could be a sign that he or she isn’t sure how to handle growing stress, or life outside of the resources that a drug rehab centre offers. Having to deal with an unmanageable amount of stress may be a sign that a relapse is soon to follow.

Small Lies

Whether deceiving oneself or others, habitual lying is a sign that a recovering addict has something to hide. He or she may be hiding the desire to use again, or the fact that the abuse has already begun. In this case, small lies may indicate much bigger lies.


If the desire to use again is strong, a recovering addict might experience feelings of guilt. Withdrawing from others—be it family or friends—could be a way of dealing with these feelings of shame, and a sign that a loved one is considering abusing drugs or alcohol again.


Preempting actual substance or alcohol abuse, demonstrations of self-sabotage are dangerous, and are cries for help. Things such as high-risk behaviour, or setting oneself up for failure, are all indications that a loved one may soon relapse, and begin abusing drugs or alcohol again. Admittance to a drug rehab centre can stop the abuse before it begins anew.