Prelapse: 10 Signs of an Impending Relapse

The plans we create for our future selves and the tragic comedy that usually ensues never seem to coincide. More times than not, we get our crystal ball confused with our magic “8” ball and expectations get mixed up with disappointments. Of course, it’s not as bleak as it may sound; sometimes it’s just a matter of being able to accept reality as it comes our way. 

Whether it’s cheap plastic or crystal sorcery, both give you a chance to react to the information provided. The same goes for recovery and avoiding any form of ‘prelapse’. In the blink of an eye, we can throw ourselves overboard and into the largest downward spiral if recovery is not kept on the front burner as a priority. If sobriety is the vision that we seek, there are certain components that must be maintained to hold onto that happy, joyous, and free lifestyle.

Why Do People Relapse?

Recovering from addiction is difficult, not just because of withdrawal or the mental strain that comes with it, but also because of the possibility of relapsing. This is a very raw reality for some individuals, as half of those who undergo addiction treatment will experience a relapse.

The most important thing anyone can do for this is to be proactive in preventing relapse. In this regard, recognizing the signs of relapse are imperative in preventing it. These signs include the following:

  • Recovery Lacks Priority: Relapsing sometimes can seem inevitable; it’s a harsh reality to face. When someone begins to lose motivation for recovery, relapse becomes more likely to occur.
  • Lack of Support: When it comes to success in treatment, a lot of it depends on whether or not a person has individuals around to support them. This is a majorly influential factor of the success with inpatient treatment, therapy, and twelve-step programs. When people leave rehab and wind up not having any sort of support to be surrounded by, relapse increases in likelihood. Encouragement and support are imperative to the recovery process. 
  • Attending Treatment for Others: There could be many reasons that someone seeks out help for their addiction treatment. Oftentimes someone seeks out treatment options as a result of an intervention from friends and family. Recognizing how one’s actions are affecting others is enough to change their perspective. But if they’re not doing it for themselves also, chances are they’ll lose sight of their motivation. 
  • Lack of Preparation: It’s one thing to be inside the walls of a treatment facility, but it’s something entirely different to leave treatment and apply new skills to the real world. This is why it is imperative to have a plan for whenever one transitions from treatment to the outside world. A lot can happen to everything someone has built up in recovery, even in a matter of days.  Some of these things include the loss of a family member, harmful relationships, finding a new job, or even financial difficulty.

The Straw That Breaks the Camel’s Back

For those who are not aware, ‘prelapse’ (the beginning of relapse) starts in the brain long before alcohol or drugs have tapped into your bloodstream. Relapse mode only starts with a few seemingly simple thoughts before you’re on track to destruction. When an individual has fully immersed themselves in recovery, it is blatantly obvious what their intentions are and what they are striving for.

The opposite is just as clear when prelapse thoughts and triggers are having their way. An alcoholic thinker might do well for extended periods, but even with cautious optimism, nothing is permanent.

Keeping in mind there isn’t a cure for addiction will help us to recognize that this really is a disease that is a constant battle for some as their using thoughts flourish and recede. Unfortunately, relapse is a very real thing for any chemically dependent person, regardless of the time accumulated. On the bright side, prelapse can be easily spotted in loved ones or self when looking out for mannerisms like:

  1. Irritability or anger
  2. Increased dishonesty
  3. Periods of depression
  4. Impulsive/radical behavior
  5. Excessive defensiveness
  6. General dissatisfaction with life
  7. Constant physical and emotional exhaustion
  8. Lack of motivation or the desire to do anything
  9. Poor daily routine and/or structure; lack of self-care
  10. Loss of interest in therapy or support group attendance

It’s unfortunate of course and we can try to help, but it’s ultimately up to the individual to fight back against the disease as its high tide starts crashing down waves of prelapse and negative thinking onto the shores of their brain.

James Bond Cravings

Prelapse warning signs will sneak up like a double agent would in the Hollywood blockbusters. Before you know it, the person in question will begin thinking that Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are pointless and that they have Signs of an Impending Relapseobtained everything they need already. This is a person who is on the pathway to relapse usually because they are already at a point where they are becoming close-minded. That’s what our addiction and alcoholism want is for us to lose. It’s definitely a game, but there’s no silver and gold- it’s life or death.

Addiction numbs us to reality and causes us to always look at things from the perspective of the glass always being half empty. Everything in life starts to have this hollow feeling to it and the mindset of “nothing we ever do is good enough” roots itself into every forced step we take.

All that negative thinking, of course, attracts more negative experiences. Irritability and loads of stress start tacking on with the rest of the cynical frame of mind that is now dulling their personality. It’s important to look for unnecessary mood swings and anger conjuring itself from out of nowhere. Don’t fall victim to stressed induced emotion.

Preventing Relapse: Post-Treatment Outpatient 

As previously mentioned, if someone is not ready for the world outside of recovery, it can spell danger for everything they’ve worked to build up in terms of strength. In these circumstances, it is safe to say that outpatient treatment may be necessary.

Outpatient treatment is a great way to transition from inpatient treatment to the real world. For some, it’s a good decision to make to be proactive about one’s life post-treatment. For others, it is a necessary step. Either way, taking care of oneself after treatment is vital to recovery success. 

Depending on one’s individual needs, outpatient treatment could last anywhere between three months to over a year. This method of care offers individuals 10-12 hours of access to professional therapists and psychiatrists per week. This has been known as a good way to keep individuals accountable as it relates to their recovery.

Fight for Your Right to NOT Party

As some signs of prelapse start appearing, more of them follow suit as the person slips down into the inevitable. Prelapse thoughts just add weight that drags you down ever so slowly. With the negative outlook and more off-putting situations occurring, it’s common to see the addict or alcoholic begin losing hope with life. Ambitions will begin to diminish and getting the person to do anything productive will seem like a chore. Addiction and alcoholism will convince them to give up on themselves.

10 Signs of an Impending Relapse

Even sadder, the person will begin losing interest in hobbies or people that typically kept their attention in the past. Things will just seem off to them and they often will push friends and family away in attempts to hide the depression/anxiety they’re going through. It will literally suck the life out of them to the point where they feel like getting high or drinking is the only way to cope with such a bottom. As all this starts to come to a head, maybe they will begin making questionable decisions or even putting themselves in sketchy or risky positions. They will constantly convince themselves that they got a bad hand in this deck of cards.

The victim role comes in strongly as they start looking for any reason they can to throw it all away and pick up the bottle or pipe. Having a good friend or family member who can call the person out when prelapse seems prevalent can be a holy grail amongst the darkness. Call them out and support their endeavors with love. Knowing the premonitions before they occur may just save your struggling loved one’s life.

Stop Prelapse Before Relapse

When it comes to cravings and the warning signs at hand, sometimes they will come from out of nowhere and coax even the strongest of individuals into second-guessing their recovery. It’s important to know the signals and to stand up to yourself and the identity crisis addiction creates. If you or a loved one has been struggling with getting a firm grasp on sobriety and need detoxification, please contact us here. Our team of specialists is waiting to help figure out what options are best for sending your life in a comfortable direction that you can proudly stand behind.

Real Client Testimonials

  • Before coming to coastal I was hopeless, helpless, and my family wanted nothing to do with me. It wasn’t the first detox I’d ever been to, but it was the only one who showed me so much love and compassion. They gave me hope. It’s hard to put into words the amount of gratitude I have for this facility. The employees were my family when I had none. The staff went out of their way to make sure not only were my physical needs taken care of, but my emotional needs as well. From the first phone call prior to admission, to helping me set up continuing care, they never missed a beat. Even going as far as to help me with my legal issues via Zoom court. This isn’t just a detox, they are the family I never had. All of the techs, especially Karen, are phenomenal. They will take the time to listen to you, laugh, and cry(if needed) with you. If you are reading this and you or your loved one is suffering like I was, go to Coastal Detox. The level of care is more than I could ever put into a review. It wasn’t the first detox I’d been to, but it has been my last; I owe them everything I have today, including my life.

    Travis B Avatar
    Travis B.
    12/07/2020
  • Had a really good experience at Coastal. The staff really went above and beyond in helping me get in and gave me the respect l, space and care I needed after I first got there. As I started to fell better they encouraged me to take part in groups which helped get me out of my head and bring positivity and health to my thinking. They had a great massage therapist, who came daily and it was evident the nursing staff genuinely cared. Got to know some of the staff as well and I’m grateful for the cooks Joe and Chris. Those guys literally made us sirloins and pork chops for dinner. Also I gotta thank Chris and Chris for helping me get in and setting me up with a transition plan. Real grateful for that help, I’m not sure if it’s management intention to hire guys named Chris but they got a good thing going there. Overall, I’m clean and sober today and walking it out. Coastal gave me a base that set me up for the success that I’m walking in today

    Brandon B. Avatar
    Brandon B.
    1/16/2020
  • My family is very thankful for Coastal Detox. They have went above and beyond for my son a few times. Unfortunately he has needed their help more than once and they have ever turned their back on him, even when he was at his worst. Jeannie and Chris have been amazing and kept me informed through the entire process. They truly care about the addict and want to help them especially when it would be easy to give up on them. I had many detox facilities be rude and uncaring to me when I was searching for help for my son, but Coastal never did that to us. I don't know the names of all the team members that have helped my son but I know their are many and y'all are angels!! One day we will be able to pay it forward and help someone as you have helped us. Thank you for all you do!!

    Brenda A. Avatar
    Brenda A.
    1/01/2020
  • Can not say enough nice things about Coastal Detox & staff. Family member was there, told me five stars for the facility & all whom she interacted with. Said the facilities, ambience..., cleanliness, grounds, food, (think their chef is five stars), were all top shelf. All I interacted with personally & on the phone were patient, professional, responsive & caring. Kudos to so many: Jeannie Jones, Clinical Director whom I spent the most face to face time with: great oversight, patience & follow thru. Raquel Barker, Therapist was so understanding & on spot with her assessments/care. Kris Garrigus Admissions Director, another Coastal professional whom I cannot say enough nice things about, always so patient & responsive to my probably too frequent inquires. Not to be forgotten is Judy Tucker, Director of Operations she too so patiently "put up with me"
    I highly recommend Coastal Detox

    Susan C. Avatar
    Susan C.
    11/13/2019
  • Can not say enough nice things about Coastal Detox & staff. Family member was there, told me five stars for the facility & all whom she interacted with. Said the facilities, ambience..., cleanliness, grounds, food, (think their chef is five stars), were all top shelf. All I interacted with personally & on the phone were patient, professional, responsive & caring. Kudos to so many: Jeannie Jones, Clinical Director whom I spent the most face to face time with: great oversight, patience & follow thru. Raquel Barker, Therapist was so understanding & on spot with her assessments/care. Kris Garrigus Admissions Director, another Coastal professional whom I cannot say enough nice things about, always so patient & responsive to my probably too frequent inquires. Not to be forgotten is Judy Tucker, Director of Operations she too so patiently "put up with me"
    I highly recommend Coastal Detox

    Susan C. Avatar
    Susan C.
    11/06/2019

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