10 Common Triggers of Addiction Relapse

Relapse rates for people recovering from drug or alcohol addiction are quite high, with studies showing that about 40 to 60% of people relapse within 30 days of leaving an inpatient treatment center for drugs and alcohol, and up to 85% relapse within the first year. It's important for people struggling with alcohol dependence or other substance dependence to recognize the high risk of relapse, be aware of what their own personal triggers are, and learn to cope with their triggers and emotions in a healthy way. By understanding the common risks of relapse of addiction, people can be better equipped and better able to sustain their recovery.Social pressure is one of the most common triggers of addiction relapse. Being with your old party buddies or the drinking team makes it easier to fall back into those destructive habits.

Alcoholism and drug addiction are a problem in and of themselves, but there is also a problem underlying substance dependence. Without addressing the underlying problems and simply stopping substance use, it's like putting a band-aid on an amputated limb.There are often unaddressed or hidden mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, mania, personality disorders, or post-traumatic stress. If a person receives appropriate treatment for alcohol and drug addiction, therapists, psychiatrists, and other addiction specialists will work with the patient to address underlying mental health problems. As with alcohol and drug addiction, mental health problems often require long-term care to be managed properly.People with alcohol or drug addiction often surround themselves with like-minded people who also enjoy drinking or doing drugs.

Being close to the same people who use substances while you are recovering can trigger a relapse. Part of the recovery process is setting healthy boundaries with friends, family, or colleagues who don't respect your sobriety enough to stay sober while they're around you.The ideal is to reach a point in your recovery where you can enjoy social gatherings where other people drink alcohol and are not triggered to relapse, but this often requires time and effort. One should not intentionally surround oneself with other people who use alcohol or drugs, unless they have a stable basis in their own recovery. It's also helpful to have a plan in place when surrounding yourself with people who use alcohol or drugs, and to bring a supportive and responsible sober partner with you when possible.Bars, liquor stores, wineries, strip clubs, casinos and parties are some obvious places that people recovering from alcohol or drug addiction may want to avoid, but there are many others.

The location will depend on the person. Any place that you may have associated with your alcohol or drug use is a place that, ideally, you would want to stay away from.The impacts of addiction on the human brain are so far-reaching that tiny things can trigger the recovery of an individual who doesn't even enter his conscious mind. It's important for people in recovery to be aware of this, and if they feel activated in a “random” situation, they may want to take inventory of their environment and wonder why they feel activated.If an addicted person used alcohol or drugs frequently in their own home or apartment, their own residence itself could trigger it. For obvious reasons, their own home may not be a place they can avoid (although, this is why sober homes are very helpful in early recovery).

In such cases, it may be useful to buy new furniture or rearrange the furniture to allow for a new space that can correlate with your new life in sobriety rather than substance use.People, Places and Things - yes we couldn't have this list without mentioning things. What exactly are things anyway? Well first let's remember how addiction impacts the brain as mentioned above and how tiny things can trigger a relapse which may not even enter our conscious mind. For example the clink of glasses bursting of bottles or opening of cans can cause an alcoholic to think about drinking again. Credit cards or straws can make a cocaine addict or other drug addict think about the drug of their choice just like a bottle of pills or syringe.Anything you associate with your consumption or consumption is something you should keep in mind.

Obviously we live in a world where these things are almost impossible to avoid. In any given situation with awareness and mindfulness you can understand why you might be experiencing cravings understand why you feel the way you are and then cope properly without alcohol or drug use.Sometimes people who are new to sobriety experience a pink cloud or have the idea that they will never use alcohol or drugs again no matter what. They have very bad memories of their substance use and are enjoying their recovery journey. Sure it's a great feeling when you're confident in your recovery but keep in mind that everyone is eligible for a relapse.All it takes is a millisecond being in the wrong place at the wrong time or just a bad thought that leads to a bad decision.

Don't rely so much on your recovery as to be willing to put yourself in risky situations or seek them out to prove to yourself that you can be sober at a party for example. Don't become complacent arrogant or believe that you are “healed” no matter how safe you feel it's a good idea to stay away from any situation that could potentially trigger an urge for substance use.