The ideal situation for addicted people is to achieve sobriety with no relapses but unfortunately sobriety is precarious and relapse is common even after completing an addiction rehab program successfully. People are especially vulnerable to relapse during the first few months after addiction treatment and some people may relapse more than once before achieving long-term sobriety.
Relapse prevention requires an awareness of situations and things that can trigger addictive behavior In some cases triggering situations are unavoidable. Identifying triggers will help addicted people develop helpful coping mechanisms.
- Negative emotions - Depression sadness anxiety fear frustration and boredom are some of the primary triggers for relapse. People often turn to addictive substances or behaviors in an attempt to feel better.
- Positive emotions - A social event such as a friend's wedding or a class reunion can be a powerful trigger.
- Lack of self-care - Poor nutrition and lack of exercise are common relapse triggers. Similarly fatigue or sleeping difficulties can set a person up for relapse.
- Re-exposure - Familiar people places and events can be triggers especially early in the recovery process. Being around bars old drinking partners and familiar routines can make it difficult not to return to addictive behavior.