5 Relapse Triggers to Expose and Embrace



Addiction recovery is anything but a straight line. It is a long, winding path, with ups and downs, successes and disappointments, and relapse. Addiction relapse is when someone returns to using their substance(s) of choice and/or doing a problematic behavior.

While the term “relapse” carries a heavy implication of failure, relapse is very common and it’s important to have compassion for yourself. Studies suggest that approximately half of all individuals who try to get sober will return to heavy use and up to 90 percent will experience at least one “slip” on their road to recovery.

Have patience with yourself, relapse is not a sign of failure. Recovering from addiction is a life-long process. Relapse is a sign that you need to re-evaluate and modify your strategy. Are you searching for a quick “cure,” or working on healing the self so that you no longer crave relief from an outside source?

There are a million reasons why someone may relapse, and addiction specialists agree that avoiding triggers, the situations and emotions that make drugs attractive, is half the battle. Here are 5 relapse triggers to expose and embrace:

  1. Times of Celebration Celebrations, where alcohol or drugs are present, are just as risky as a negative situation. Bringing along a trusted friend can assist in preventing relapse.
 
  1. Stress Stress is one of the top causes of relapse. While one can’t avoid all forms of stress, making lifestyle and relationship changes can help the recovering addict to avoid anxiety and tension. Practicing self-care and meditation can reduce the physical and emotional consequences of stress.
 
  1. People or Places Being around people and places associated with one’s addiction can often pressure a person to relapse. For example, going back to a favorite bar may tempt an individual to pick up the bottle again. Err on the side of caution and do not frequent past places of addictive behavior.
 
  1. Challenging Emotions While challenging emotions are a normal part of life, those struggling with addiction often cite frustration, anger, anxiety, and loneliness, as triggers for relapse. As a part of addiction therapy, it’s essential to develop effective ways of managing, these feelings.
 
  1. Object of Your Addiction In recovery, even a slight reminder of the object of the addiction, such as seeing a portrayal of addictive behavior on television, can lead to relapse. While it is impossible to avoid such reminders forever, developing skills for managing urges and cravings can aid in preventing relapse.
When you experience a relapse it’s not easy to face what happened. You blame yourself, “oh, this is it. I’m going downhill again and there’s nothing I can do about it.” But that’s simply not true. Practice self-love, compassion and understanding. Relapse is completely normal. Begin again with understanding. Addiction is a lifelong process and relapse is a sign that you need to re-evaluate and modify your strategy.

At ReFind we support you in healing the “emptiness” from within, while at the same time helping you find and return to the most powerful you. We believe that you are more than your addiction. Schedule an appointment for a complimentary phone consultation.