Tips for Confronting Someone You Believe Has Relapsed

When you believe that someone you are close to has relapsed, there is no easy way to start a conversation about your suspicions. If they have denied relapsing up to this point, you may not get anywhere with them moving forward. People who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction are just like that. They will do whatever they can to get away with anything they can because they get a rush from believing they are truly invincible. 

On the other hand, they may already believe your opinion of them is one of failure. The probability that they will come clean to you is not likely unless they are caught red-handed because they are tired of feeling like they disappointed everyone. They could really use some support and you can encourage them by using these tips to confront them.

Pick Your Battles

The one thing you want to avoid is to come right out and accuse them of drinking or using. You may find yourself in a precarious situation with your allegations unless you have solid proof, such as an arrest or catching them in the act. They are already probably feeling defeated, so the last thing they need is someone is coming after them to make them feel worse. If they are addicted to drugs and alcohol and are under the influence, picking your battles with them at the appropriate time can lead them to get the help they need instead of running away in shame.

Offer Hope

Your best bet is to show them hope even if they are not ready to accept it. Rather than blame them or get angry about their actions, which will be counterproductive anyways, you can treat them with human kindness. With healthy boundaries in place, you can show them some optimism in their recovery while laying down some hope through your participation in your own recovery.

Show Them Compassion

You have to know that they are already beating themselves up. Even if they act as if they could care less, they are struggling on the inside regardless of what their tough exterior displays. All you have to do is be cordial with them instead of making them feel more terrible than they already do about picking up drugs or alcohol again. You know you would help a sick person in need if you could. You need to view them as sick because they truly are. By showing them compassion, you may be an influential factor in helping them to go towards their recovery. 

Relapse is tough on everyone involved, especially the person who has relapsed. Take this notion into consideration as you navigate through this challenging time. Although they may not think this is a serious situation, you need to accept the risk of relapse and assist them when pertinent.


Valiant Living understands relapse and provides a relapse prevention plan for each of our clients. We offer a continuum of care that is effective in assisting someone to gain long-term sobriety. Our treatment culture is all about building unity for those who have suffered enough from their drug and alcohol addiction. Through evidence-based therapy options and the endless adventure of Colorado, Valiant Living fosters connection, encouraging clients to get connected to themselves, their peers, their families, and their higher power. Clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing with the power of recovery. Call us today at (303) 952-5035 to start your journey.