Addiction recovery is never easy. Overcoming dependence on drugs or alcohol is a huge challenge in the best of circumstances but avoiding relapse can be even more difficult—especially when faced with common relapse triggers throughout day-to-day life.
According to data published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an estimated 40% to 60% of individuals with a substance abuse disorder relapse after successfully undergoing treatment.
Thankfully, by avoiding known triggers and learning new ways to cope with stress and trauma, former addicts have a fighting chance when it comes to avoiding relapse.
What is Relapse?
Relapse is a serious hurdle to overcome for many people who live with addiction problems. It’s defined as continued use of drugs or alcohol after recovery. It’s important to note that the process of relapse begins before the individual succumbs to using drugs or alcohol. Instead, it begins with feelings of stress, thoughts of drugs or alcohol, and even spending time with people who they used to drink or engage in drug use with.
What are the Most Common Triggers for Relapse?
Triggers, or cues and events that encourage or compel a person with substance abuse disorders to re-engage in destructive behaviors, can occur anywhere in daily life. There are external triggers, such as people, events and places that cause a person to feel stress or discomfort; and there are internal triggers, which are emotions and feelings that lead to cravings for drugs or alcohol.
While every person is different, there are several common triggers that occur in most individuals who relapse. These include:
- Stress and negative emotions: Feeling stressed, anxious, depressed and other negative emotions can cause individuals with substance abuse disorders to use again. These feelings can come from problems at home or at work, financial struggles or a variety of other events.
- Spending time with people who use: When a person successfully completes a recovery program, its advisable for them to avoid spending time with the people they used to drink or do drugs with. Those who don’t follow through with this recovery goal face a higher risk of relapse.
- Exposure to drugs or alcohol: Simply being around drugs or alcohol can be difficult for a former addict. It’s important for anyone who’s completed recovery to avoid being near substances, particularly within the first months and years of sober living.
Find Help to Overcome Relapse
If you’re struggling with the temptation to use drugs or alcohol after recovery, or if you’ve already used, help is available. Reach out to Hickory Treatment Centers to learn about our individual and group therapy programs or enroll in one of our treatement programsnow.
Contact our admissions team and get back on track with your recovery today.