What Can Trigger a Relapse?

After drug and alcohol treatment, addicts still feel strong urges to continue their substance abuse. These urges are based purely on desire and sometimes can overrule all logical reasoning. This is referred to as a trigger. There are many triggers out in the world. Some are specific to each individual, and some are a uniform way of functioning. Completing drug treatment is a huge step toward living a healthy and productive life without drug abuse. The trick is maintaining this sobriety. One way to avoid a drug or alcohol relapse is to identify the different things that can trigger it.

There are some very common causes of drug relapse. These negative feelings (also found in other aspects of everyday life) such as anger, sadness, loneliness, guilt, fear, and anxiety can cause an addict to feel like they need to run and hide from them, and the only way they know how to do that is through drug use. Even positive feelings can trigger a relapse because they make the addict want to celebrate.

Other ways that relapses can be triggered is through the physical body. Being in the presence of drugs and/or alcohol, around users of drugs or alcohol, or in places where you used or bought can be overwhelming and cause a lot of internal conflict. If you purposefully place yourself in situations just to show that you can do it, you may be placing yourself in unnecessary danger. Also, many people think that they will be fine after treatment, and that they don’t need to worry about a relapse. This is a problem because they may fall back into their old patterns, and eventually fall back into drug use. If you allow yourself to become completely exhausted, you are not following the healthy patterns you have established, like rest, nutrition, and exercise. If you begin to pity yourself or expect pity from others, you are not being independent, and are therefore not taking care of your needs.

Dishonesty is another common problem for recovering drug addicts. Usually, it begins with small, unnecessary lies being told to those who are close to you. Then you begin to widen the spectrum and are soon making excuses for not attending meetings or for hanging out with old friends that still use drugs or alcohol. Someone might do this because they feel that they are the only people who have changed. Well, you can only expect to control yourself. Just remember to be honest and patient with yourself and others.

Drug relapse is never your fault, just as drug addiction is not your fault, but it can be avoided. Through drug treatment, you can find yourself. Through real life experience you can test your strength. It is important to know your limits and to respect your mind, body, and soul through sobriety. Don’t wait until you relapse to express how you’re feeling after you finish rehab. Counseling is provided to allow this transition to be more comfortable and understood.