Top 9 Signs of Relapse

warning sign of relapse

Unfortunately, relapses are not a rare occurrence when it comes to addiction treatment and recovery. However, there are some warning sign of relapse that can help you to prevent a relapse or treat it just after one occurs. Knowing the warning sign of a relapse is helpful for both loved ones of recovering addicts and recovering addicts themselves. Here are the top 9 signs of relapse. 

  1. Self Isolation 

Self isolation is a very common sign of a relapse. If a recovering addict that you know has suddenly stopped talking to you and others and has stopped leaving their house then it is crucial that you check up on them. This will decrease their chances for an overdose, increase their chances for a safe treatment, and could even prevent a relapse altogether. 

2. Anger Problems and Irritability 

Irritability and anger issues are not necessarily uncommon early into addiction recovery, especially during an alcohol or drug detox treatment. However, a noticeable increase in this type of behavior could very well be a sign of a relapse. 

3. Lying 

Lying is a huge sign of a relapse, especially if this behavior has not been present earlier in addiction recovery. If a recovering addict you know has been lying about things like where they have been or what they have been doing then this is a red flag for a relapse. 

4. Increased Depression or Anxiety 

Mental health can be a difficult thing to deal with, especially for those who are new to sober living. If a known recovering addict has reached out to you about an increase in depression or anxiety symptoms then you should help them to be seen by a mental health professional if they feel comfortable with doing so. This could be a sign that a relapse has occurred, but it could also be a sign that a relapse could happen in the future. Therefore, helping a loved one could save a life or prevent a relapse. 

5. Other Mental Health Issues 

Like depression and anxiety, other mental health issues could develop or worsen during addiction recovery. This could be a sign that a relapse has already happened or it could just be a risk factor for one occurring. 

6. Falling Back into Old Bad Habits 

Falling into old bad habits such as going to bars or clubs and talking to old friends a recovering addict used to use with are all signs of a relapse. This is especially true if this has been combined with other signs on this list. 

7. Not Showing Up to Work, School, or Important Appointments

Suddenly not showing up to things like work, school, and important appointments is a big red flag for a relapse. If you have noticed this behavior from a recovering addict then checking up on them is crucial. 

8. Overconfidence 

Addiction recovery takes time, so being overconfident in addiction recovery puts recovering addicts at risk of a relapse. If you believe that this is a relevant  problem, then addiction counseling could help. 

9. Boredom 

Boredom is a very common addiction trigger for many recovering addicts. This is why filling up your time with safe, healthy, and enjoyable activities is so important during addiction treatment and recovery. If you or a recovering addict you know is struggling with boredom then speaking with an addiction counselor on how you can manage this will help. 


Relapse is sadly not an uncommon occurrence when it comes to addiction treatment and recovery. However, knowing the above 9 warning signs can help you to know if you or a recovering addict you know has either been at risk for or has experienced a relapse.


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