Identifying and Handling Relapse Triggers in Addiction Recovery

It’s common that you’ll hear relapse is a part of recovery. And, while relapse rates may be high for individuals in addiction recovery, they are still dangerous. In fact, most overdose deaths occur to those in the earliest days of recovery. That’s because after detox, the body is no longer used to the dosage an individual may have taken prior to treatment, and tolerance decreases. While it’s possible to come back to recovery after a relapse, it’s not possible if that relapse results in overdose death. Because it’s so easy to overdose during a relapse, it’s extremely important to understand your relapse triggers and know what to do when you encounter them.

What are Relapse Triggers?

When people think of relapse, they think of taking a sip of alcohol, popping a pill, or injecting a substance into the body. But, using the drug of choice is only the final stage of relapse. Before a person actually participates in the act of using, thoughts and actions have to be had to be put an individual in the situation to even use. Relapse triggers are specific experiences or scenarios that may encourage these thoughts and actions which can result in the physical act of relapsing by utilizing drugs. Fortunately, identifying the relapse triggers which may be most influential to you can help you prepare for them out in the real world so that relapse may be prevented.

Some Common Relapse Triggers Experienced by those in Recovery

Negative Emotions: Many develop tolerance, dependence, and addiction by self-medicating negative emotions brought on by trauma, mental conditions, or even the stress daily life brings. But, during recovery, drugs cannot be used to numb emotions. Recovering individuals must learn how to deal with emotions without the crutch of substances. In the days of early recovery, anger, sadness, loneliness, fear, anxiety, and guilt may all become relapse triggers.

Nostalgia: It’s often suggested that individuals don’t rush off to move back home when treatment concludes. That’s because returning to past environments, friends, and situations may be relapse triggers. It’s hard to associate your past with your present when one is consumed with active addiction and the other isn’t.

Intimate Relationships: Just as it’s not suggested individuals return right home, it’s also commonly suggested that individuals in early recovery don’t jump into romantic relationships. Dealing with negative emotions you haven’t had to throughout active addiction is enough pressure to put on a recovering individual. But, positive emotions can be relapse triggers too. Not to mention, not all new relationships end well or only consist of good emotions. It’s best to focus on recovery until you feel confident and established enough with relapse prevention before starting new romance.

How to Prevent Relapse in Your Own Recovery

Knowledge truly is power, especially in the case of relapse prevention. It’s proven that the more individuals work on maintaining effective methods of preventing relapse and the more education they have on the matter, the better their chances are at remaining sober. That’s why the programs offered at Asheville Recovery Center include a focus on relapse prevention techniques. Some methods to preventing relapse include:

  • Choosing a sober living environment instead of moving right home after relapse
  • Establishing a network of sober support for if/when relapse process does begin
  • Knowing your own relapse triggers so they may be prevented
  • Attending both group and individualized therapy for extra support
  • Staying away from settings which involve using drugs or alcohol
  • Utilizing self-care and mindfulness techniques

Learn More about Relapse Prevention and Relapse Triggers

If you’ve relapsed and need help or you are dealing with active addiction, there is help for you available at Asheville Recovery Center. Here, we offer addiction treatment which is specific to each individual’s medical, emotional, and mental needs. Additionally, we believe with the right approach to relapse prevention, every individual seeking recovery from addiction has the tools they need to live a successful life of sobriety. If you’re ready to begin your recovery journey and take your life back from the grips of addiction, give us a call today at 866-315-8998.

Leave a Comment