How to Tell That Someone You Love has Relapsed


When you book a friend or family member into an addiction recovery facility, it can feel like the toughest day of your life. However, there’s something even harder than that – and that’s believing that the person who tried so hard in the rehab facility may have had a relapse. But, how do you know for sure? Here are a few tell-tale signs.

Their Mood Changes

When someone successfully comes out the other side of drug addiction, their positivity and zest for life can be a breath of fresh air. However, it doesn’t always last forever. Once the bite of reality hits, previous drug users may find themselves surrounded by their same old triggers – and it might be too hard to resist.

A mood change can mean they are fighting the urge to take drugs or consume alcohol. Or, it can say they have already succumbed to the temptation and now feel ashamed, guilty, or frustrated.

Secretive Behaviour

When a loved one comes home from drug rehab, you may revel in having them back again. If, however, you notice that they are leaving the house when you’re not home or late at night, or they don’t tell you where they’re going, that can be an alarm bell for a relapse. Any secretive behaviour is something on which you should keep an eagle eye.

Skin Changes

If your loved one or friend previously attended drug rehab for heroin addiction, then a relapse can be evident in skin changes. Someone who is using heroin may have track marks on their skin and infections. Abscesses and boils may also be present.


As you will be all too aware, drug use goes hand in hand with withdrawal. These symptoms can also appear as a cold or flu. Relapse can look like a runny nose, chattering teeth, agitation, vomiting, diarrhoea, sneezing, and sleeplessness.

Financial Changes

Drugs are not free or cheap, which means that if your loved one has relapsed, they are most likely paying for it. Pay attention to their financial situation. If they have a job, this is a little harder to do. However, if they rely on you, are they asking for more money? Are they asking friends and family for money? As addiction can cloud judgement, you may also find that items can go missing – sold off to fund the habit.

When a loved one comes out of a drug rehab facility, it’s important to make sure they have regular contact with sponsors and support networks, and that they have as much love and help as they require. However, it’s also helpful to watch out for any behaviours that might signal a relapse.