Common Triggers for a Drug Relapse

These triggers are thoughts or emotions that make you want to use drugs. API is a private, physician-owned behavioral health system offering inpatient and outpatient psychiatric and substance use disorder services. We are dedicated to the wellness of individuals, their families, and our community through prevention, intervention, and treatment in a safe and culturally sensitive environment. Exhaustion impairs your ability to control your impulses and make good decisions. Studies show that people treated for insomnia in the early stages of their recovery were less likely to relapse. The path to recovery is a journey you must take one step at a time. If you make a mistake along the way, this doesn’t mean that your efforts are doomed or that you should give up hope of meaningful change.

What can trigger relapse?

  • Social pressure. Hanging around with your old party buddies or drinking crew makes it easy for you to fall back into those destructive habits.
  • Isolation.
  • Being around addictive substances.
  • Untreated mental illness.
  • Giving up on treatment.
  • Sleep deprivation.
  • Nostalgia.
  • Boredom.

Self-care is especially difficult for adult children of addicts . This is also the time to deal with any family of origin issues or any past trauma that may have occurred. But they can be stressful issues, and, if tackled too soon, clients may not have the necessary coping skills to handle them, which types of relapse triggers may lead to relapse. A basic fear of recovery is that the individual is not capable of recovery. The belief is that recovery requires some special strength or willpower that the individual does not possess. Past relapses are taken as proof that the individual does not have what it takes to recover .

Treat mental health problems if they exist

Beyond cravings, this can also lead to a longing for the environment or lifestyle that you left and does not provide the same recall for the reasons that you initially sought recovery. Recognizing the warning signs before relapse is one of the best ways to intervene early and prevent it entirely.

  • By the time most individuals seek help, they have already tried to quit on their own and they are looking for a better solution.
  • Since they did not allow themselves small rewards during the work, the only reward that will suffice at the end is a big reward, which in the past has meant using.
  • Important milestones such as recovery anniversaries are often seen as reasons to use.
  • This is also the time to deal with any family of origin issues or any past trauma that may have occurred.
  • Statistically, it’s common for people who struggle with drug and alcohol addictions to relapse at some point during recovery.
  • Common emotions that contribute to drug and alcohol use include anger, loneliness, sadness, guilt, stress, and anxiety.

Mental relapse, or relapse justification, is the continuous fight between wanting to use and knowing you should not use. Individuals often underestimate the dangers of situations and fall into the trap of single-time use.

An example of a very brief relapse prevention action plan:

Recovery is not for the faint of heart, it requires courage, willingness, and an innate desire to change. We’re here to offset some of the inherent weight carried during the initial steps of that journey.

You can more easily identify the ones particular to you once you answer these questions. Addiction recovery is challenging for many reasons, one of which is the potential for relapse. People who struggle with addiction frequently lose their capacity to know when to stop. Or, treating yourself to one, unnecessary new pair of shoes could lead to a shopping spree. It also may help to have a healthy activity that you can do instead like going for a run, seeing a movie, having dinner with a sponsor, or reading a good book. Verywell Mind’s content is for informational and educational purposes only. Our website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Managing Internal Triggers

Friends and family may not understand the consequences of negative behaviors toward people in recovery. These behaviors can make the individuals feel alienated and push them toward substance use. Friends & Family that Use Drugs– Managing your relationships in recovery is important. While avoiding former drug dealers may seem obvious, it is also important to avoid spending time with, or communicating with, people you know who use drugs. This can not only trigger a relapse but can also create negative peer pressure.

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