Common Reasons For Relapse & How To Avoid It Gateway Help

Everyone will have different internal triggers, but by recognizing some of the common ones you will be better equipped to avoid or address your internal triggers. The most important rule of recovery is that a person does not achieve recovery by just not using. Recovery involves creating a new life in which it is easier to not use.

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Additionally, it is beneficial to set clear and healthy boundaries with individuals in your network who still use drugs or alcohol. It is important to recognize these types of relapse triggers emotional triggers and manage them appropriately. Otherwise, it could lead someone down a path of substance abuse without even realizing what has happened.

Internal vs. External Relapse Triggers

Although these numbers may be discouraging, the important thing to remember is that relapse is not a sign that addiction treatment failed. Drug detox, rehab, and other forms of treatment are not cures for addiction, and substance use disorders cannot be cured. Rather, research shows evidence-based treatment methods can help people manage their addiction(s) more effectively. The solution to overcoming this relapse trigger is to learn how to channel your positive feelings in a positive way, without the use of substance abuse.

Triggers generally initiate the stages of substance abuse relapse, which can lead to renewed regular substance use. If you can identify these stages, you will be able to recognize what is happening and potentially stop the progression of a relapse. These internal triggers may be more difficult to handle, because unlike external ones, they cannot simply be avoided. In a moment of celebratory joy or after a heated argument with your spouse, your emotions may overcome you and lead you to relapse. This doesn’t mean that everyone will relapse; some people experience lifelong sobriety through continued involvement in their rehabilitation process. Relapse also doesn’t mean that treatment didn’t work; it’s merely a part of the process of recovery for many people.

Reinforce Recovery at Gateway

Educating clients in these few rules can help them focus on what is important. Research supports the idea that substance abuse treatment effectively reduces substance abuse relapse rates. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, treatment longer than 90 days is more effective for maintaining long-term sobriety. A relapse prevention plan developed during treatment acts as a roadmap so you know how to respond in situations where relapse is likely.

If you can’t always avoid them, your therapist will teach you coping skills for when you come across these situations. Sana Lake offers a wide range of addiction treatment programs as well as multiple types of therapy and sober living programs. Whether you have a severe addiction that requires inpatient treatment or a mild one that only requires some outpatient sessions, we have a treatment plan that will meet your needs. Besides the above five addiction triggers, others include H.A.L.T. (feeling Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired), having an untreated mental health disorder and boredom. If you’re feeling stressed by conditions in your everyday life, try practicing healthier coping mechanisms like mindfulness. Meditation, exercise like yoga, eating healthy, can all help you find peace within yourself and give you feelings of achievement.

Objects: Things That Can Trigger Relapse

Practices like mindfulness allow individuals to focus on right now, placing their mindset in the present moment. This encourages detaching from painful or distressing experiences and can reduce stress. Healthy ways of managing triggers allows individuals to thrive without turning to damaging coping mechanisms that can harm them or others. [You] must be completely free of old lifestyle, including friends and social groups. Develop as many accountable partners as possible, [get] a sponsor and develop healthy coping mechanisms.

types of relapse triggers

Additionally, feeling connected and supported gives individuals access to resources such as treatment programs or support group activities that can help them avoid addictive behaviors. For those living in remote areas, numerous online recovery communities are available for individuals to access the necessary social support they need. Mindfulness and meditation are two of the most effective coping strategies for managing addiction triggers. Mindfulness is a practice that encourages focus on the present moment and can help to reduce stress, improve concentration and increase emotional regulation. Meditation is a practice of focusing on quieting the mind to cultivate clarity, serenity, and insight. A professional assessment may include psychological testing, an interview, a medical evaluation, and a personal history and family dynamics discussion.

What Motivates Relapse?

H.A.L.T. stands for “Hungry,” “Angry,” “Lonely,” “Tired,” and if you are experiencing one of those common emotions, it is an opportunity to practice positive coping mechanisms. Coping in a healthy manner requires that you have a plan in place to address your needs when you cannot directly respond to the particular trigger. Co-occurring mental illnesses are common in people with substance abuse disorders.

What are the most common relapse risk factors?

  • Low self-efficacy (the patients belief in their ability to control their substance use);
  • Positive outcome expectancy related to substance use (the patients belief that substance use brings positive effects, e.g., sociability, decreased anxiety);

Even after a person stops using drugs or alcohol, they can make mistakes, experience feelings of guilt and failure, or experience stressful situations that lead them to begin using again. Along with relapse, the risk to health, personal relationships, and financial well-being will return as well. The growth stage is about developing skills that individuals may have never learned and that predisposed them to addiction [1,2]. The repair stage of recovery was about catching up, and the growth stage is about moving forward. Clinical experience has shown that this stage usually starts 3 to 5 years after individuals have stopped using drugs or alcohol and is a lifetime path.

Physical relapse

What is most difficult to understand about recovery from drug and alcohol addiction is for any client or family involved is that relapse happens, and addicts have a high risk of relapse. We call is relapse and remission, this is because addiction is a chronic disease. Anyone in recovery can be described as being in remission from their disease. Triggers that happen outside of the individual are not necessarily beyond control. There are multiple reminders of substance use in a former drug user’s life, including people, places and things.

Chronic stress poses an additional danger because it can reduce gray matter in the part of the brain that regulates stress and cognitive control. In other words, chronic stress erodes your ability to make deliberate and informed decisions and increases impulsivity. This makes it more likely that a person will give in to their cravings and use substances in order to cope. Careful and thorough coaching by a professional addiction counselor is key to helping an individual with an addiction identify their specific triggers and to make a plan to manage them. Making the decision to get treatment for an addiction can be life-changing. Addiction treatment centers will help you detox and stabilize, but the real recovery work begins when you’re focused on staying sober.