My Loved One Has Relapsed: Now What?

How to Approach Someone who has Relapsed

As a family member of a loved one who has relapsed, the feelings of utter sadness and confusion can be overwhelming. It’s important that the individual has a proper support system in place during this time as they are in a vulnerable position and need the care of their loved ones at this time. Relapse is devastating for both the individual who has relapsed as well as close family and friends. Confronting the situation and ensuring that the proper steps are taken to assist the individual will help them get back into recovery.

It is not uncommon for addicts to relapse once they are back out in the everyday world as there are possible triggers everywhere you look. What may not appear to be a trigger to one person could very well be what triggers relapse in a recovering addict. This is why recovering addicts should refrain from going to certain places or seeing certain people as these could be possible triggers.

Just because your loved one has relapsed does not mean that there is no hope for them. There are many ways to overcome this setback and the proper steps need to be taken right away in order to get the individual back on the right track of sober living.

Signs That Relapse has Occurred

Perhaps you have an inkling that your loved one has relapsed but are not 100 percent certain. If the recovering addict is showing signs of relapse such as behavioral changes and shifts in mood, it may indicate that they have relapsed.

Some warning signs of relapse are:

    • Becoming Secrative
    • Spending Less Time at Home
    • Liquidating Finances
    • Behavioral Changes
    • Mood Swings
  • Disappearing With no Explanation

These are the several warning signs that someone you know has relapsed. If you notice these warning signs, it’s important that you speak with the individual in a calm manner in order to address the situation at hand.

Re-Entering Addiction Treatment

Sometimes, a brief stint in a rehab program is just what the individual needs. A 21-day program, whether inpatient or outpatient, can provide the support and encouragement necessary to regain their confidence in sobriety. Joining an alumni program after the treatment program has been successfully completed is a great way for the individual to be surrounded by recovering addicts just like themselves. Alumni programs allow you to connect with people and engage in sober activities which can help you learn how to adapt to your new, sober life.

As a loved one of an individual who has relapsed, you must ensure that you are in a healthy state of mind when approaching the person about their relapse. You cannot be angry and resentful, you must be supportive and encouraging as the individual is already in an altered state of mind. Letting them know that you are here to support them throughout their journey toward recovery once again will give them the motivation needed to get their life under control.

Having an open line of communication is essential when wanting to connect and make your loved one feel secure and comfortable. Knowing that they have a loved one to speak with who supports them is exactly what they need during this vulnerable time.


If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.