Drug and alcohol relapse signs
After one or multiple stints in rehab, it seems that your partner is finally on the path to addiction recovery. During early recovery, you were amazed at your partner’s openness and commitment. You were communicating well, enjoying activities together and were acting as a normal sober couple. You were hopeful that this streak will continue so you can have a healthy relationship without the shadow of addiction hanging over your heads.
But then you started to notice a few behavioral changes that were not present when your partner was newly sober. You started to wonder whether it’s all a façade and the disease of addiction has returned. The reality is, even if your partner has not relapsed yet, you can already tell if that’s where a person is headed. Relapse is a process and not just a single incident so if you start to notice some of these signs, it is best to speak to your partner about it.
Elevated emotional reactions
Is your partner getting extremely angry or irritated at the most mundane things? Is stress becoming a reason for you to cancel plans together? While it is normal to feel and experience a wide range of emotions, it can be quite unnatural to do so constantly, unless there is an underlying reason for it. Try to find out the cause of these flare-ups and make sure your partner knows that you are there to listen.
Making excuses to miss meetings
After coming out from rehab, most people in recovery are prescribed an aftercare program. The program often includes 12-step meetings with a local al anon support group. If your partner suddenly starts to miss these meetings before even completing the 12 steps, then there’s something amiss. Of course, one meeting missed might be acceptable but it’s a warning sign if there is a sudden disregard for the importance of the meetings.
Reconnecting with friends who are still active addicts
If your partner is suddenly hanging around old friends who are still in active addiction, this is a risky move that can affect recovery. Being in the wrong crowd can make a person reminisce about the times drugs and alcohol provided immediate relief. It can also make people forget all the reasons why they need to stop drinking and using drugs.
Diverting from routine
People in recovery often follow a regimented routine which keeps them on track. You will notice this after they come home from rehab. If your partner is suddenly ditching routine for no apparent reason like sleeping at odd hours, not going to the gym, skipping meetings and not eating at scheduled times, then the possibility of relapse exists.
Anxious and nervous
People who are hiding their relapse are always afraid that they will be found out. They are more paranoid about their actions. Being jittery or shifty is one sign that they are either craving to use or they are feeling guilty for using.
It can be very difficult for a person trying to live sober to admit failure. If your partner admits a slip-up, you might get angry or threaten to leave. This is what causes denial. Even if things are falling apart, saying everything is okay or being over confident that there is nothing to worry about can be a sign that there is indeed a cause for worry.
If your partner starts hiding or lying about even the simplest of things, you can’t be blamed into thinking that this has also something to do with addiction. This is something more serious than just denying that there is a problem. This often involves lying about missing money, jewelries that you can’t suddenly place, gambling or maybe an alcohol bottle stashed in the backyard garbage bin.
Is your partner suddenly losing or gaining weight unnaturally? Maybe you noticed your partner has bloodshot eyes, hollow cheeks or pale skin. While the other symptoms can potentially be caused by another problem, physical symptoms of addiction are very hard to hide. Needle marks, rashes, breathing issues, and lack of coordination are symptoms that point to the obvious conclusion. Drugs and alcohol manifests physically on people and even if they are able to hide these signs, it won’t work in the long term.
If you believe that someone you love is on the verge of relapse or has relapsed, you need to speak to a professional on what approach to take. Simply confronting or attacking your partner may not be the best option. It would also give you a chance to discuss your partner’s addiction history to really determine if relapse has occurred.