Relapse Risk Factors: Recognizing Internal and External Triggers

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21. März 2024

Relapse Risk Factors: Recognizing Internal and External Triggers

In doing so, you will be able to spot the different signs of addiction and protect yourself better in the future. Learning to cope with the stresses of daily living without turning to alcohol or drugs is not easy for someone who has repeatedly used these substances. After months or years of chemical dependency, the brain must relearn how to live a sober lifestyle. Mindfulness and meditation are two of the most effective coping strategies for managing addiction triggers. Mindfulness is a practice that encourages focus on the present moment and can help to reduce stress, improve concentration and increase emotional regulation. Meditation is a practice of focusing on quieting the mind to cultivate clarity, serenity, and insight.

Emphasizing Emotional Awareness (HALT)

The effectiveness of cognitive therapy in relapse prevention has been confirmed in numerous studies [11]. The mental relapse stage of addiction relapse is characterized by a return to specific thought patterns that can lead to a relapse. This includes thinking about using drugs or alcohol, fantasizing about the euphoric effects of an intoxicant, and planning how and when it could be used without getting caught.

types of relapse triggers

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types of relapse triggers

A way to manage these external triggers is to have a support system of friends and family members who are encouraging and help you address challenges that come your way. People who struggle with addiction need effective ways of tolerating, managing, and making sense of the negative feelings encountered in daily life. Alcohol, drugs, or addictive behaviors may have provided temporary relief from those feelings in the past, but you can’t rely on them anymore. These triggers can vary from person to person, but some common examples include stress, boredom, loneliness, and feeling overwhelmed. Other triggers may include seeing people who use drugs, being in certain places, or even certain smells or sounds. Believe it or not, some of the closest people to you can trigger a relapse.

  • Contact a healthcare professional if you or someone you know suffers from a substance use disorder.
  • Those in recovery often have a hard time finding new ways to have fun, and it may cause them to glamorize or ruminate on their past substance abuse.
  • Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a medical condition that doctors diagnose when a patient’s drinking causes distress or harm.
  • These psychological triggers can involve anything from self-doubt and fear of failure to feelings of worthlessness or shame.
  • It forces people to reevaluate their lives and make changes that non-addicts don’t have to make.

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types of relapse triggers

A person may recognize the same core warning signs of depression they experienced during previous episodes, but sometimes, symptoms can be different. The warning signs of a depression relapse may include social withdrawal, fatigue, and irritability, and can be different each time. Spotting the red flags early may help prevent a more severe episode.

types of relapse triggers

These triggers can be difficult to recognize and can completely disrupt a recovery if they lead to relapse. Recognition and avoidance of potential triggers will be a key part of any recovery process. It can begin with an emotional relapse, followed by mental and then physical relapses. Awareness of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can be indicators of where someone is and what they may need regarding recovery. A variety of underlying mental illnesses like depression and anxiety are closely related to addiction and can result in a person experiencing more triggers or more powerful ones.

  • Although your recovery will have a clear start, you’re guaranteed to experience many dips and curves in the road.
  • Seeking professional help when faced with challenges during your recovery journey is paramount.
  • They must confront the damage caused by addiction to their relationships, employment, finances, and self-esteem.
  • Most individuals close to you will realize you’re in recovery and will be ready to make arrangements to ensure your comfort while you are in attendance.
  • Triggers can cause people to stop attending sober meetings or participating in other forms of structured relapse prevention.

Write Down Coping Mechanisms

Addiction often develops because people use drugs or alcohol to feel better about their current situation. Whether it’s a new and stressful event or a distressing emotional state, substance abuse often turns off feelings of discomfort. In recovery, people don’t have that option types of relapse triggers and often struggle to accept and process negative feelings. Addiction is a chronic brain disease with a relapse rate similar to that of other chronic conditions like diabetes. When people stop their treatment plans for chronic conditions, they are more likely to relapse.

  • Inventory not only the feelings you had just before it occurred but examine the environment you were in when you decided to use again.
  • Clients need to be reminded that lack of self-care is what got them here and that continued lack of self-care will lead back to relapse.

Identifying Triggers

People Who Influence Cravings