How To Avoid Relapse Triggers After Addiction Treatment
Simply winning a battle against addiction doesn’t mean you have won the war. After treatment you might face a variety of challenges that could persuade you to go back to your past self. That’s why it takes a lifetime of dedication to come out on top in the battle against addiction.
In order to continue in your journey toward a sober life, it’s important to identify these relapse triggers which could tempt you to go back to your addictive ways. Learn more about what causes relapse, what relapse triggers are, and the importance of relapse prevention in your sober journey.
What Is An Addiction Relapse Trigger?
An addiction relapse trigger is any situation, object, or thought that causes or can cause you to relapse back into your old habits of using drugs or alcohol after going through recovery.
Relapse after recovery is common. In fact, 40% – 60% of recovering drug addicts relapse. Some might look at that number and feel discouraged. However, this number should be a source of motivation for many to know that they are not alone when they think “one drink won’t hurt”.
Arming yourself with the tools and knowledge to know what you’re up against is important. By doing so, you can be prepared for relapse prevention, or you can be ready to bounce back from a relapse.
Common Addiction Relapse Triggers
There are a variety of categories for relapse triggers. Each one of these varies from person to person, as a result of old routines done before recovering from addiction. These include:
- Exposure to drugs
- Strong amounts of stress
- Experiencing negative emotions that cause you to seek drugs
- Pressure from friends or family to use the drug
- Social isolation
- Seeing an object that reminds you of your addiction (syringe, beer bottle, etc.)
- Associating the addictive substance with positive emotions
- Using other substances to cope with the loss of another drug (i.e. smoking instead of doing cocaine)
Relapse Warning Signs To Look Out For
There are a variety of situations and relapse warning signs to keep in mind if you or a loved one is prone to relapse. Often, these warning signs can appear during major events in their life, including the loss of a loved one, major financial problems, divorce, or health problems.
Some of the most common relapse warning signs include:
- Being overconfident
- Having a self-pitying attitude
- Spending time with people who encouraged drug use before
- Sudden changes in their routine (skipping school or work)
- Changes in their personal hygiene
- Irregular sleep patterns
How To Prevent Relapse and Continue Life Without Addictions
Be Aware Of HALT (Hunger, Anger, Loneliness, and Tiredness)
HALT is a tool used by many who are recovering from addiction. It serves as a warning system if you feel like you might relapse, due to how those recovering from addiction are more likely to relapse if they’re hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. The HALT system works by allowing yourself time to make a self-assessment of those feelings and address them before they get out of control.
By being aware of HALT, you can keep yourself mentally and emotionally prepared for any triggers that you may face. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is an essential part of preventing drug and other addiction relapse.
Relapse prevention is not easy. You can’t control what other people do or say, and you can’t control every single situation that occurs in your life. But, it’s important to be as prepared as possible for everything. Warriors are trained to be ready for any situation, so make sure to keep the following in mind:
- Know what your relapse triggers are
- Keep an eye out for any relapse warning signs
- Avoid people and places that could cause you to relapse
- Go to a support or therapy group to talk about what you’re experiencing
- Avoid exposing yourself to drugs or alcohol
I’ve Relapsed, What Should I Do?
Relapsing can feel like the end of the world. However, it’s important to remain calm and identify what you did.
Was this event isolated and only a one time thing? If so, then you have to recommit to your new sober lifestyle, identify what caused you to relapse, and work hard to avoid similar situations.
If it happens over and over again, and you feel like you’re unable to control yourself, get in touch with us. We offer a wide variety of resources for those who are seeking treatment. From alcohol detox centers to sober living programs, we provide assistance to those who have dedicated their lives to helping preserve our safety. Contact Warriors Heart today and win the war against addiction and PTSD.