ADDICTION IS A CHRONIC CONDITION, WHICH MEANS IT IS INCURABLE AND YOU MUST MANAGE ITS SYMPTOMS FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. SINCE SUBSTANCE ABUSE ISSUES ARE CHRONIC, SUFFERING ADDICTION RELAPSE TRIGGERS IS A MAJOR THREAT TO YOUR RECOVERY. RELAPSING MEANS THAT YOUR RESUME ABUSING YOUR ORIGINAL SUBSTANCE OF CHOICE OR A DIFFERENT SUBSTANCE AFTER ACHIEVING A PERIOD OF ABSTINENCE.
Since addiction impacts your brain chemistry and your pleasure and reward center, your brain, over time, begins associating reminders of drug or alcohol use with the positive feelings of intoxication. People, places or things that cause you to crave using or drinking are called triggers.
Triggers can be anything. Many times, you may not know something is a trigger until you begin the recovery process. Although some triggers can be avoided with relapse prevention therapy, others may not be. This makes the risk of addiction relapse triggers a serious threat to your long-term recovery.
WHAT ARE ADDICTION RELAPSE TRIGGERS?
Addiction relapse triggers can include people, places or things that remind you of using or drinking. When your pleasure and reward center change during substance abuse, your brain begins craving your substance of choice. These cravings intensify anytime you are exposed to a trigger.
So, what are some addiction relapse triggers? One of the most common addiction relapse triggers is stress. Stress creates negative emotions and can make you feel like things are out of your control.
Other examples of addiction relapse triggers include:
- Paraphernalia used to take your substance of choice, such as pipes or syringes
- Bars or nightclubs
- Depression, anxiety, and insomnia
- Major life events, such as changing careers or losing a loved one
- Environments that you used to use or drink in
- Places you used to buy drugs or alcohol
- People you used to use or drink with, or buy drugs from
Relapsing not only threatens your recovery but can lead to an increased risk of overdosing. Periods of sobriety and abstinence decrease your tolerance for drugs and alcohol. If you relapse and attempt to use the same amount you did during your addiction, you could experience a fatal or non-fatal overdose.
HOW DOES TREATMENT HELP PREVENT RELAPSES?
A major benefit of inpatient drug and alcohol treatment is that you learn about triggers, cravings and relapsing. Relapse prevention plans are typically developed by you and your treatment team. These plans outline your biggest threats to sobriety and your most difficult triggers to cope with.
Inpatient treatment teaches you healthy coping mechanisms and strategies to combat cravings and triggers. Besides avoiding potential triggers, an important aspect of recovery is finding a healthy and safe way to manage cravings. Since cravings can continue months after you stop using, it is important to learn how to manage them. At Pearl of The Sea, we offer you the ability to create a relapse prevention strategy and find support during recovery.
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If you are struggling with a substance abuse problem, treatment doesn’t end when you complete detox. Addiction relapse triggers are perhaps the greatest risk to your recovery.