5 Triggers of Relapse and How to Avoid Them

The 5 Most Common Relapse Triggers (& How to Avoid Them)

5 Triggers of Relapse and How to Avoid Them

Some people believe that addiction relapse is inevitable – but that is absolutely not true. Being aware of common relapse triggers and relapse warning signs is your first step towards long-term addiction recovery.

One of most effective techniques for preventing relapse is to identify your personal relapse triggers and make a detailed plan on how you will manage them. And while some common relapse triggers are obvious — being around other people who are using — others are less straightforward.

Addiction is a sneaky disease, and will try to sneak up on you when you are least expecting it. We have compiled this list of the most common causes of relapse to get you thinking more deeply about how you can avoid triggers and stay solid in your addiction recovery.

Common Relapse Triggers and How to Manage Them Relapse triggers can be broken into a few groups: emotional, mental, environmental, and those that are easily overlooked. Here we have listed the five most common relapse triggers and what to do to avoid them.

1.HALT: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired

You may have heard the acronym “HALT.” It’s a term used to describe high-risk situations for those in recovery. When you are aware of this threat, you can be more vigilant in preventing yourself from entering such situations.

To be most effective, this requires some discipline insofar as planning your daily itinerary. As silly as it sounds, people in recovery often forget to address their basic human needs because they’re simply so focused on staying sober.

When recovery is your priority, then making sure you avoid becoming too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired will also need to become daily priorities. This may mean planning meals, sticking to a strict sleep schedule, and attending support groups.

Occupying your mind and addressing your basic human needs will become automatic after some time, but during the early period of recovery, you need to be cognizant of these needs.

It’s easy to let negative thoughts into your mind, but it’s these perceived negative emotions that often lead people to use drugs or alcohol in the first place. When these thoughts start to creep in, they can easily lead a person back to their drug of choice.

This is why having a sponsor and a strong support structure that offered in a sober living house can play a big role in keeping you sober. Fortunately, it is impossible to avoid feeling sad, angry, guilty, or lonely all the time.

Experiencing and learning how to deal with these emotions is an important aspect of recovery (and life) – but they sure can be worrisome. Learning how to cope with your emotions as they arise without the use of drugs and alcohol will be essential in early recovery.

Stress is probably the number-one causes of relapse, but what each person deems to be stressful is unique to them. Some people might find stress from something as seemingly harmless as a broken fingernail. Because of its broad range of effects on the mind and body, all stress must be managed by the individual.

Bigger life events losing a job or a loved one can be a strong trigger for relapse. Other triggers include things increased responsibility at home or work or health problems. The key here is being proactive about stress prevention and being mindful (and honest) about what causes stress for you. Again, look to your sponsor and support groups for guidance, strength and advice.

3. Over-confidence

Over-confidence can be dangerous. An example might be telling yourself you can handle just one drink. Statistics show that one slip leads to relapse more often than not. Becoming over-confident in recovery in any form puts you at risk for relapse.

Having self-confidence is necessary, but becoming over-confident to the point of complacency crosses a line from healthy confidence to over-confidence and relapse risk. After some time in recovery, as your life starts to even out, you may begin to feel you no longer need to follow your relapse prevention plan.

You might think you are strong in your recovery and put yourself in increasingly risky situations – while also no longer working a recovery program. This is a proven recipe for disaster.

Stay humble by giving back to others if you can, and always remind yourself that addiction is a chronic disease; no matter how strong you feel you will never be able to have “just one.” [cta id=’269′]

Depression, anxiety, and other underlying mental illnesses can trigger drug or alcohol relapse. Physical illness and pain can also put you at risk for relapsing, as your body is stressed.

Prescription drugs for mental and physical illnesses can be mind-altering and trigger addiction and addiction relapse. Sharing that you are in recovery with your doctor and being insistent about providing non-addictive prescription drug alternatives is important.

Get treatment for any underlying mental illness and monitor your thinking and feeling with a journal to help notice when you are slipping into old patterns.

5. The importance of strong relationships

Reluctance to reach out to others, or form a sober support system through AA or another recovery group, can lead to social isolation and loneliness. The more you become socially isolated, the easier it is to rationalize drug or alcohol use to yourself.

Social anxiety can also be a struggle for many recovering addicts, which is why having a counselor or sponsor can help you avoid social isolation. Make forming a sober support network a priority in your recovery. They’ll help you pinpoint and avoid common relapse triggers. A common, but often ignored suggestion is to avoid dating in recovery for the first year.

There are many reasons for this, one being that new romantic relationships can put you at risk for relapse. A break up with your new partner could lead you back to using due to emotional stress. A potential cross over from your initial addiction to a sex or love addiction; or using relationships to fill the void left by sobriety also create increased risk for relapse.

Remind yourself why it is important to avoid relationships in early recovery if you feel you’re considering starting such a relationships. Recovery is a time to focus on yourself.

Relapse is a process. If you find yourself reminiscing about times when you used to drink or use in a way that overlooks the pain and suffering your addiction caused, this is a major red flag. Reminiscing can lead to your addictive brain taking over once again. Talking about past use can lead to thinking about future use, and quickly turn into action.

If you find yourself in this pattern of reminiscing, it’s time to talk to a sponsor, counsellor, or supportive friend about it — they will help remind you why you chose a life in recovery. Putting yourself in situations where drugs and alcohol are available.

It is not always so straightforward though — simply driving through an old neighborhood or catching the smell of a pub as you walk by can be enough to trigger intense urges to use. One of the first relapse prevention plans you make should be a list of people, places, and things that are strong triggers for you personally.

When doing this, think outside the obvious and ask your sponsor or counselor for help so you’re not later caught off guard by an emotion, sight or smell.

What Happens if I Relapse?

Even with the best-laid plans to avoid common relapse triggers and prevent relapse, the risk is always there.

If you do get caught off guard and slip-up, it does not mean that you are a failure and doomed to drug addiction forever. Recovery is still possible, but the sooner you act after a relapse the better.

Remember that after a relapse you may need to attend additional drug or alcohol rehab to get back on your road to recovery. [cta id=’269′]

Источник: https://www.thedistrictrecovery.com/addiction-blog/5-common-relapse-triggers-avoid/

Top 5 Triggers & Reasons People Relapse After Drug Rehab

5 Triggers of Relapse and How to Avoid Them

For those who have struggled—or continue to struggle—with the burden of addiction, it’s no secret that the recovery process doesn’t end with the completion of a clinical treatment program. Once addiction takes control, the battle to achieve and maintain sobriety becomes a lifelong war of the body and mind—and there is no cure.

Addiction changes the brain, and anything or anyone once associated with those addictive behaviors has the potential to jeopardize a former substance abuser’s sobriety at any time. These triggers can appear in any form and with infinite possibilities.

Common Relapse Triggers to Watch Out For

While each individual is different and may have their own, unique circumstances, there are some more common triggers that many recovering addicts share.

1. Stress

We’re all impacted by stressful situations in our daily lives. But recovering addicts have a history of coping with those circumstances by altering their state of mind through the use of drugs or alcohol. There are things that can be done to reduce stress in our lives, but it’s simply not possible to eliminate it completely.

By making a few lifestyle changes and learning how to manage and cope with stressful situations by means of healthier mechanisms, the risk of relapse can be greatly decreased. Some of these methods can include:

  • Practicing mindfulness, deep breathing, and relaxation exercises
  • Getting a good night’s sleep
  • Eating healthy and maintaining proper nutrition
  • Exercising regularly, especially when faced with stressful situations
  • Managing time and avoiding procrastination

2. People, places, and activities associated with addictive behaviors

Many times, the use of drugs and alcohol occur within the same setting or with a specific group of people. Simply seeing these people or being in those places can trigger a craving and jeopardize one’s sobriety.

For example, a recovering alcoholic may have once attended baseball games regularly and consumed alcohol with the same group of friends. It may not be necessary to cut ties completely with this group of friends, but avoiding trips to the ball game may be helpful in eliminating the risk of being triggered by that particular environment.

If this is a particularly close group of friends, that person may be comfortable explaining the situation and suggesting that the group watch the game from home, without the presence of alcohol. If the group of friends are unwilling to accommodate your needs and wish to continue including alcohol or drugs in their gatherings, it may be best to cut ties with these folks.

3. Untreated mental health conditions

Many addictions are associated with pre-existing mental health disorders such as depression. These problems can cause negative feelings, self-esteem issues, and emotional struggles, which are common reasons for addiction to begin in the first place.

Quite a few treatment facilities have begun approaching recovery with co-existing disorders in mind.

This means looking at addiction from a perspective that includes mental health conditions as either a cause or a result, of the substance abuse problem.

If issues such as depression are not identified and treated along with the addiction, they will remain a potential—and even ly— trigger for relapse.

4. Sensory reminders

Similar to avoiding people and places, your senses can pick up on reminders that may trigger a relapse. It could be seeing, smelling, tasting, or even hearing something once associated with the addiction.

Take cigarettes, for example. They’re known to be very intentionally addictive, and someone who is trying to quit will need to overcome many sensory triggers. Even aside from the nicotine withdrawal, smokers build their entire lives around when they smoke their cigarettes.

It’s the muscle memory of knowing it needs to be in their hand while they drive; an internal alarm that reminds them when it’s time to take a break at work; it’s the smell of lighting that first cigarette in the morning.

It completely overwhelms the senses, and when that all suddenly disappears, the brain wants it bad, especially when it senses it nearby.

Other addictions change the brain in similar ways.

For those who struggle with opioid or cocaine addiction, avoidance may be no problem at all once an addict removes themselves from their previous social circle or influences.

cigarette smokers, an alcoholic may have a more difficult time predicting where and when they may encounter alcohol since it’s legal and virtually everywhere. So it’s a good idea to acknowledge and accept that this will ly happen on several occasions.

The key to avoiding a relapse is to have a plan in place to cope with these encounters when they happen.

5. Times of celebration

Strange as it may sound, being happy and confident could very easily lead to a moment of weakness. After a few years of sobriety, a former addict may feel pretty comfortable and in complete control of themselves.

The problem is that addicts don’t always have the ability to recognize when enough is enough. When attending an event, a wedding, graduation, or bachelor party, it can be easy to plan on having only one drink.

But one turns to two, and after a few, the desire to stop is gone and the overwhelming reminders of euphoric intoxication resurface an old habit.

In this case, it may be helpful to enlist a trusted wingman to go along to the party or celebration. This should be someone who is familiar with the addict’s history, knows what their triggers are, and can hold them accountable to their recovery goals and help them cope with temptation.

These are just a few of the most common causes of relapse. As a part of most treatment programs, facilities typically work with struggling addicts to identify their triggers and develop a plan to avoid them.

Still, it’s impossible to predict and avoid every potential trigger for the remainder of one’s life.

It’s important to plan and prepare healthy coping mechanisms for situations that may expose a recovering addict to potential triggers.

Источник: https://www.intoactionrecovery.com/5-reasons-people-relapse/

The 10 Most Common Addiction Relapse Triggers

5 Triggers of Relapse and How to Avoid Them

Some people believe that addiction relapse is inevitable – but that is absolutely not true. Being aware of these relapse triggers is your first step towards long-term addiction recovery.

And while some common relapse triggers are obvious — being around other people who are using — others are less straightforward.

Addiction is a tricky disease, and will try to sneak up on you when you are least expecting it. We have compiled this list of the most common addiction relapse triggers to get you thinking more deeply about how you can avoid triggers and stay solid in your addiction recovery.

Common Relapse Triggers and How to Manage Them

Relapse triggers can be broken into a few groups: emotional, mental, environmental, and those that are easily overlooked. Here we have listed the 10 most common relapse triggers and what to do to avoid them.

1. HALT: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired

The acronym HALT is used to describe high-risk situations for those in recovery. When you are aware of this you can be vigilant in preventing yourself from entering those states.

If recovery is your priority, then making sure you avoid becoming too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired will also need to become priorities. This may mean planning meals, sticking to a strict sleep schedule, and attending support groups.

2. Emotions

Perceived negative emotions often lead people to use drugs or alcohol in the first place and can easily lead a person back to their drug of choice.

It is, however, impossible to avoid feeling sad, angry, guilty, or lonely all the time. Experiencing these emotions is normal and an important aspect of recovery (and life) – but they are uncomfortable! Learning how to cope with your emotions as they arise without the use of drugs and alcohol will be essential in early recovery.

3. Stress

Stress could possibly be the number-one addiction relapse trigger because of its broad range of effects on the mind and body. HALT can lead to stress, as can a thousand other circumstances that will differ for each individual.

Losing a job or loved one, increased responsibility at home or work, and health problems can all create increased stress.

The key here is being proactive about stress prevention and being mindful (and honest) about what causes stress for you.

4. Over-confidence

Becoming over-confident in recovery puts you at risk for relapse. Having self-confidence is necessary, but becoming over-confident to the point of complacency crosses a line from healthy confidence to over-confidence and relapse risk.

After some time in recovery, as life starts to even out, you may begin to feel you no longer need to follow your relapse prevention plan. You might think you are strong in your recovery and put yourself in increasingly risky situations – while also no longer working a recovery programme. This is a definite recipe for disaster.

Stay humble by giving back to others if you can, and always remind yourself that addiction is a chronic disease; no matter how strong you feel you will never be able to have “just one.”

5. Mental or physical illness

Depression, anxiety, and other underlying mental illnesses can trigger drug or alcohol relapse. Physical illness and pain can also put you at risk for relapsing, as your body is stressed.

Prescription drugs for mental and physical illnesses can be mind-altering and trigger addiction and addiction relapse. Sharing that you are in recovery with your doctor and being insistent about providing non-addictive prescription drug alternatives is important.

Get treatment for any underlying mental illness and monitor your thinking and feeling with a journal to help notice when you are slipping into old patterns.

6. Social isolation

Reluctance to reach out to others, or form a sober support system through AA or another recovery group, can lead to social isolation and loneliness. The more you become socially isolated, the easier it is to rationalise drug or alcohol use to yourself.

Social anxiety can also be a struggle for many recovering addicts, which is why having a counsellor or sponsor can help you avoid social isolation. Make forming a sober support network a priority in your recovery.

7. Sex and relationships

A common, but often ignored suggestion is to avoid dating in recovery for the first year. There are many reasons for this, one being that new romantic relationships can put you at risk for relapse.

A break up with your new partner could lead you back to using due to emotional stress.

A potential cross over from your initial addiction to a sex or love addiction; or using relationships to fill the void left by sobriety also create increased risk for relapse.

Remind yourself why it is important to avoid relationships in early recovery, and if you have more than a year of sobriety under your belt follow these tips for dating in recovery  to help make sure your transition to the dating world does not sabotage your sobriety.

8. Getting a promotion or new job

Positive life events are often overlooked as relapse triggers. Getting a promotion or new job can lead to an urge to celebrate. You may fall into the false idea that is celebrating with a drink or drug ‘just this once’ will be ok. Increased income can also trigger thoughts of being able to afford your drug of choice.

While a promotion or other positive event is exciting and can boost your confidence, it may also come with added responsibility, pressure, and stress. That’s why it is important to make a plan for how you will celebrate without drugs or alcohol in advance of actually being in this situation.

9. Reminiscing about or glamorising past drug use

Relapse is a process. If you find yourself reminiscing about times when you used to drink or use in a way that overlooks the pain and suffering your addiction caused, this is a major red flag.

Reminiscing can lead to your addictive brain taking over once again. Talking about past use can lead to thinking about future use, and quickly turn into action.

If you find yourself in this pattern of reminiscing, do not ignore it! Talk to a sponsor, counsellor, or supportive friend about it — they will help remind you why you chose a life in recovery.

10. Social situations or places where drugs are available

Another one of the most common relapse triggers is putting yourself in situations where drugs and alcohol are available. It is not always so straightforward though — simply driving through an old neighbourhood or catching the smell of a pub as you walk by can be enough to trigger intense urges to use.

One of the first relapse prevention plans you make should be a list of people, places, and things that are strong triggers for you personally. When doing this, think outside the obvious and ask your sponsor or counsellor for help so you’re not later caught off guard by an emotion, sight or smell.

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