What Is Relapse?

The road to recovery and sobriety has many challenges, and relapse is a common one. Research indicates that a high percentage of people in recovery relapse at some point during their sobriety. Rehab Melbourne believes that the key is quality recovery coaching and cultivated self-awareness.

Signs of a Relapse

Relapse is viewed as a process rather than an event. When looked at this way, it becomes possible to look for early signs that could indicate the risk of relapse. Below are some signals to look for.

Emotional Relapse

This may occur well before any thoughts about drugs or alcohol use arise. Feelings of anger, moodiness and anxiety become increasingly overwhelming. Food intake and sleeping habits become erratic and there may be a withdrawal from social life. Intervening at this stage could prevent mental relapse from taking hold.


Neglecting the first stage can easily lead to a mental relapse. They may fantasise about the good times they’ve had with drugs or downplay their rehab experience. As a person goes deeper into this stage, their cognitive ability to resist the relapse diminishes and direct thoughts of drug and alcohol abuse arise.


It is believed that a relapse occurs once the physical act of consuming the substance has occurred. Once mental relapse has happened, it usually does not take very long to progress to the physical relapse stage.
Physical relapse occurs when a person breaks their sobriety. At this point, it is vital to resume treatment at a rehab facility.

What Not to Do If Someone Has A Relapse

When someone is going through relapse, considering what not to do is just as important. One of the most important is refraining from getting angry with them or yelling.

In particular, if someone has maintained long-term recovery before the relapse, the feelings of guilt, shame and anger are much stronger. This is when they need the most support.

What to Do if Someone is Experiencing a Relapse

Be Supportive

A relapse can create feelings of guilt and shame at a time when most of all, a person needs kindness and understanding. Much of the stigma can be overcome by supportive family and friends who are there to assure a recovering addict that they are not to blame, and that they can choose once more to start over and pursue sobriety.

Identifying Enabling Behaviours:

Enabling behaviours are those actions that perpetuate a person’s addiction by preventing them from experiencing the impact of their behaviour. Partners in such relationships unknowingly support and facilitate self-destructive behaviours that foster self-destructive behaviour. Visit our website to know more about co-dependency and enabling behaviours.

Identifying Triggers:

Triggers are psychological or environmental cues that cause a person in recovery to crave drugs. Learning how to cope with triggers and thoughts of substances can help the individual successfully reintegrate into sobriety.

Private Rehab Facilities with Drug Counselling and Alcohol Detox

Rehab Melbourne offers the best drug and alcohol recovery program for you or your loved one. You can learn more about our rehabilitation services by calling 1800 954 749 or using the online enquiry form.


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