Overcoming drug or alcohol addiction is about more than getting through withdrawal and quitting the substance. Unfortunately, many people who complete a detox and rehabilitation program end up relapsing. This is entirely normal and does not indicate failure in your recovery. However, some strategies can help reduce the chances and frequency of relapses. Participating in a relapse prevention program as part of your addiction treatment program can ply you with the tools you need to avoid addiction relapse triggers.
At Greater Boston Addiction Centers, we understand how the triggers of relapse can derail your recovery efforts. Our comprehensive treatment programs include relapse prevention therapy to give you the best shot at lasting sobriety. Call us today at 877.920.6583 to learn more about how we help you manage relapse triggers so they do not throw you off your recovery path. Staying sober is easier with help.
What Are Addiction Relapse Triggers?
Addiction relapse triggers are people, places, or things that tempt you to use drugs or alcohol again. While each person’s relapse triggers may be slightly different, there are several common triggers of relapse that most people in recovery will encounter, such as:
- Your social circle – If you struggle with addiction, the chances are that you spend time with friends who also use these substances. Once you are in recovery, being around these same people can make you want to use them again.
- Mental health conditions – Untreated mental illness is a common contributor to substance abuse, so if it is not managed properly, it can lead you right back to using drugs and alcohol.
- Holidays and celebrations – Many people celebrate special occasions with alcohol or use substances to help them get through mandatory visits with relatives they would rather not see. When you are in recovery, you may find it difficult to attend these gatherings without feeling a strong temptation to use.
- Stress – This is one of the top addiction relapse triggers since chronic stress is common in everyday life. Many people turn to substances to help alleviate the discomfort of stress.
- The presence of drugs or alcohol – Just the sight of drugs or drug paraphernalia or the smell of alcohol can tempt you to want to use.
- Boredom – When you have too much time on your hands with nothing to do, it can be easy to turn back to old habits and start using again. Keeping yourself busy and distracted will help reduce the chances of this happening.
Be Aware of Your Triggers
It’s important to be aware of your triggers and to have a plan in place to help you cope with them. This could include attending support group meetings, talking to a therapist or counselor, and connecting with sponsors who can provide guidance during difficult times. Learning how to manage your triggers can make all the difference in staying sober for the long term.
Awareness of these common addiction relapse triggers is the first step in developing a relapse prevention plan. You should also take time to think about triggers that may be more personal to you so you can include them in your plan.
How to Avoid Addiction Relapse Triggers
Now that you are aware of some common triggers of relapse that may endanger your sobriety, you need to learn how to develop a relapse prevention plan. If possible, you want to eliminate as many addiction relapse triggers as possible from your life. However, this is not always practical, so it is best to devise a plan to help you avoid or minimize them as much as possible:
- If the main activity in your social circle revolves around drugs or alcohol, you may need to put some space between you and this group of friends. It may be difficult, but preventing a relapse will be worth it. Join sober support groups or sober social groups to expand your network of sober buddies.
- Get treatment for mental health conditions. Attend therapy and take medication as needed to help manage your condition and alleviate symptoms that can trigger a relapse.
- Decline invitations for parties or gatherings that include drugs or alcohol to reduce temptation. Organize your own sober celebrations or suggest fun sober activity alternatives with your loved ones.
- Practice stress management techniques. You cannot eliminate stress from your life, but you can improve how you respond to it. You can try breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, or any other activity that helps you feel calmer and more balanced.
- Avoid places where you will see drugs or alcohol. Remove all of these substances from your home and stay away from bars and restaurants where alcohol is served.
Addiction relapse triggers may be the strongest early in your recovery, so it is best to avoid as many triggers as possible. As you progress in your recovery, you may feel better equipped to resist temptations.
Get Help With Relapse Prevention at Greater Boston Addiction Centers
By understanding your addiction relapse triggers, you can create an action plan to help you resist the urge and stay on the path of sobriety. Having a strong support system in place is also key to helping you through tough times and avoiding a potential relapse. By being aware of your triggers and having a plan, you can gain control over your recovery journey and have a higher chance of staying sober for life.
If you need help sustaining your recovery, reach out to Greater Boston Addiction Centers. With our relapse prevention therapy, you will develop a solid plan for avoiding addiction relapse triggers so you can stay focused on enjoying a healthy, sober lifestyle. Give us a call at 877.920.6583 to get started.