Common Triggers for a Drug Relapse

Others are less straightforward and gradually pave the way to the slippery slope of addiction. The idea that these relapse triggers can be removed permanently are a common addiction recovery myth. If you think it’s going to be easy, you’re setting yourself up for a relapse.

relapse triggers

If you have a 12-step sponsor, this can be an excellent time to call him or her, so you will have the right support as you put new practices into place coping with inevitable family conflicts. Some triggers can be avoided, but others cannot, so it is important to think ahead and have a plan for exactly what you will do if you experience an unavoidable trigger. Here are seven common types of relapse triggers that can affect your addiction recovery. For many people with mental health conditions, medication is an important part of their treatment plan. But sometimes medications need to be changed, which can lead to a mental health relapse if your symptoms begin to resurge.

Mental Relapse

Untreated mental illness.According to the National Alliance for Mental Illness, about a third of all alcoholics and about half of all drug abusers also suffer from some form of mental illness. If you’re battling depression, anxiety, or another mental health condition, you’re at risk of self-medicating with drugs or alcohol. If you feel a mental health relapse coming on, you might need to double down on taking care of your mental health. That could mean leaning more into your support system, or it could mean returning to professional mental health treatment. However you do it, it’s important to stay on top of your coping mechanisms in order to avoid a mental health relapse. Obviously, there is no foolproof way to avoid financial stress.

What are 3 things that cause relapse?

Causes of relapse

Circumstances that act as a trigger for substance use as a coping strategy – for example, insecure housing, professional or personal setbacks, social pressures or social stigma. Pre-existing mental health or emotional issues. Pre-existing physical health issues.

When you are feeling hungry, angry, lonely, and/or tired, your recovery could be in dangerous waters. Therefore, it is essential to learn healthy coping mechanisms for these triggers. If you’re feeling angry, step aside for a few minutes and practice deep breathing exercises or meditation. Stay cognizant of your emotions and be prepared to regulate them accordingly. As big a part as unhappy events can trigger a relapse, celebrations can play similar roles. During weddings and birthdays, you might get overconfident and feel that you can handle one drink, but this can be a risky action.

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In this stage of relapse, you are not typically thinking about using again. Instead, you are setting yourself up for relapse with unhealthy emotional responses and poor-self care. This relapse stage is typically characterized by the acronym HALT, which stands for hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. Enroll in a sober living program to receive continued support after rehab. Avoid spending time with people who use drugs or abuse alcohol. The places you used to use drugs or drink alcohol carry strong memories and may cause you to linger on thoughts of using again.

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. Dysfunctional family dynamics, childhood abuse, or trauma can set into motion coping mechanisms that later develop into substance abuse. Returning to the same dysfunctional or isolated living situation will reactivate the addiction memory, the behaviors that led to substance use in the living environment, and/or the people in it.

How do behavioral therapies treat drug addiction?

When expressing yourself, take care to focus on your love for them, and remind them that you are concerned only because you care. Try not to pass judgment or let your emotions get the best of you. If you begin to feel overwhelmed, whether by frustration or sadness or any other strong emotion, it is best to take a break and wait until you’re calm again before continuing this conversation.

  • Without other people around, it’s easier to talk yourself into drug or alcohol use and rationalize it.
  • Many people with eating disorders consume food out of boredom, and boredom can allow your mind to drift to “what if” situations involving alcohol or whatever your drug of choice is.
  • Don’t force them to talk if they are unwilling, but do encourage them to share whatever they feel able to.
  • They have such bad memories of their substance use, and are enjoying their recovery journey.
  • While it’s important to keep these triggers in mind, it’s equally important to familiarize yourself with your loved one’s specific relapse triggers as well.

Our mental health treatment center is staffed by doctors, nurses, psychiatric experts, and other specialists who have the passion and experience to help you. To prevent this, it’s important to keep good sleep hygiene habits, like going to bed at the same time, avoiding naps, and to avoid lying in bed awake if you’re not trying to sleep. By protecting your sleep cycle, you can help yourself stay mentally healthy and avoid a mental health relapse. This could include family, friends, sponsors or other members of your addiction recovery community, just to name a few people. These need to be people that you’ll feel comfortable calling on if you encounter one of your triggers out in the world and need someone to talk to as a tool to help prevent relapse. It’s not always easy to avoid being around substances of abuse.

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