Relapse Triggers

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.
  • Stimuli – Triggers can be sense-based For example smelling marijuana or seeing a white powder that resembles cocaine can trigger the desire to use.
  • Impatience – Recovery is difficult and sometimes addicted people are short-tempered and lash out at themselves their friends and loved ones if they feel that things aren’t improving quickly enough.
  • Over-confidence – Addicted people sometimes become complacent and over-confident in their recovery believing that they’ve overcome their addiction after successfully completing an addiction rehab program. If people don’t give the addiction the respect it deserves they may fail to attend meetings or continue with recommended aftercare
  • Dishonesty – Addicted people sometimes lie to themselves or rationalize addictive behaviors or the use of addictive substances. Similarly addicted people often lie to coworkers employers friends and family.
  • Self-pity – People who see themselves as victims are more likely to relapse.

The real challenge of addiction treatment is not stopping use of the addictive substance. The challenge is to stay stopped after treatment ends. We offer an extensive aftercare and relapse prevention program that helps addicted people through this difficult time.

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