Types of Relapse Triggers & How to Avoid them

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, between 40 and 60% of people who receive treatment for drug addiction will experience relapse. This means that relapse is a common part of the journey to addiction recovery.

As discouraging as these numbers may seem, it’s important to remember that that a relapse does not indicate failure. In fact, it can be used as opportunity to understand and strengthen the recovery process. In many cases, when you feel “normal” again, you might be overly confident that you can handle being in situations that serve as external triggers.

An example of a very brief relapse prevention action plan:

In the early stages of recovery, it’s recommended not to get involved in a relationship until you are stable; this could take a year or so. Relationships are hard work and come with stress, taking away focus from creating your sobriety.

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Probably the most important thing to understand about post-acute withdrawal is its prolonged duration, which can last up to 2 years . It is not unusual to have no symptoms for 1 to 2 weeks, only to get hit again . This is when people are types of relapse triggers at risk of relapse, when they are unprepared for the protracted nature of post-acute withdrawal. Clinical experience has shown that when clients struggle with post-acute withdrawal, they tend to catastrophize their chances of recovery.

Triggers of Relapse and How to Avoid Them

Self-care is an integral part of the addiction recovery process. Poor self-care sends messages to your brain that you don’t care about your wellbeing and can trigger a relapse. You need to engage in self-care like showering, exercise, meditating, and having a proper sleep regimen to support your mental wellness in recovery and improve life quality. Festive life events such as holidays, birthdays, and graduations are often overlooked as relapse triggers. On the other hand, the anniversary of a loved one’s death or a funeral may stir up thoughts and emotions that can lead to substance use and trigger thoughts of getting back to your drug of choice. These types of relapse triggers are related to your environment — people, places, and objects physically around you that can spark memories of substance abuse.

  • Likewise, certain places that remind you of your addiction can be triggering.
  • Let’s learn a bit more about these triggers and how we can manage them outside addiction treatment.
  • It’s not just negative events that can result in addiction relapse triggers.
  • Take up some new hobbies so you’ll always have a way to keep yourself occupied.
  • Activities like breathing exercises that allow a person to clear their mind of thoughts and refocus their awareness can be powerful prevention tools.
  • So to avoid experiencing these cravings, you first need to know what causes them.

Never forget that you can reach out, whether by going to a 12-step meeting, contacting your sponsor, or meeting one of your sober friends. If you have any other questions about addiction recovery, we encourage you tocontact us at any time.Help is available whenever you need it. For many people, difficult emotions and the inability to process them in a healthy way plays a big role in substance abuse in the first place. Common emotions that contribute to drug and alcohol use include anger, loneliness, sadness, guilt, stress, and anxiety. Managing your relapse triggers is a process that takes time and a skill that you will develop and strengthen with practice.

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They do not mean the individual will relapse or that they are doing a poor job of recovery. Once a person has experienced addiction, it is impossible to erase the memory. But with good coping skills, a person can learn to let go of thoughts of using quickly. If you recognize that some of the people, places, and things described above are triggers for you, you may benefit from working with a counselor to help you develop coping skills.

  • Individuals may suffer from uncontrollable drug or alcohol cravings when exposed to certain cues.
  • As such, although your loved one may be in recovery, that doesn’t mean they don’t still wrestle with the same thoughts and feelings that fueled their addiction in the first place.
  • If the recovering addict used to turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with these emotions, these emotions might become a relapse trigger during recovery.
  • While they may seem to develop out of nowhere, these addiction cravings are typically brought on by relapse triggers.

The effectiveness of cognitive therapy in relapse prevention has been confirmed in numerous studies . Another important idea to remember is that sobriety is not a passive journey. You need to be active in your recovery efforts and keep up with your sobriety in order to continue to see success. Implementing the techniques https://ecosoberhouse.com/ you learned in your substance abuse therapies during treatment into your regular life can help you overcome these drug and alcohol relapse triggers or mitigate their effects. Although many people who seek treatment for addiction hope that they can stay sober afterwards, approximately 40 to 60 percent of people relapse.

How to Identify Substance Abuse Triggers and Cope with Cravings

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use disorder, reach out to us. Identifying triggers starts with knowing yourself, and knowing the symptoms. Jeffrey Juergens earned his Bachelor’s and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida.

  • Seeing an old friend you used to use drugs or alcohol with can cause you to develop urges or cravings to use again.
  • You need to engage in self-care like showering, exercise, meditating, and having a proper sleep regimen to support your mental wellness in recovery and improve life quality.
  • This involves heavy activity in the brain, typically when a person is “at war” with one’s thoughts.
  • Sobriety shouldn’t mean hiding from the world, but it does mean taking active steps to prevent relapse.

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