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6 Most Common Relapse Triggers in Addiction Recovery

What are The 6 Most Common Relapse Triggers?

A study that tracked the recovery progress of addicts during their first 12 months after stopping drug and alcohol use found that addiction relapse statistics remained similar across all substances. They found that the rates of relapse were in line with other diseases such as type 2 diabetes: 40 to 60 percent. They also found that medication management, such as opioid replacement therapy, and an addiction relapse prevention plan were crucial in helping people avoid relapse. So, what are some of the most common relapse triggers and how do you stop them from causing a relapse?

What are Relapse Triggers?

In order to beat addiction relapse statistics, you must understand what your triggers are, but what exactly are relapse triggers? A trigger is anything that causes a person to crave a substance again. They range from person to person based on their experience, and usually either relate to a memory of past drug abuse or are caused by a lack of coping skills, which then defaults the person to substance abuse as their means of dealing with the problem.

Most Common Relapse Triggers

We will discuss some of the most common relapse triggers for people going through their recovery from substance abuse below. They are broken down into four categories, which are environmental, psychological, emotional and other triggers that are often overlooked.

1. Hungry, Angry, Lonely and Tired (HALT)

In rehab, addicts learn about the most common relapse triggers known by the acronym “HALT”. They are some of the biggest reasons why a person will go down the road of relapse. An addiction relapse prevention plan starts with the basics such as eating well, going to meetings and making sure you have a healthy sleep schedule.

2. Stress

Stress is perhaps the biggest reason why people relapse. It is an emotion that has an impact on both your mind and your body. Many situations can cause stress in your life, such as work troubles, problems in your family unit, or anything that causes you to feel overwhelmed. Stress can also come one suddenly from a loss of a loved one or a similar devastating event. Stress prevention techniques are crucial to help prevent relapse, such as meditation.

3. Negative Emotions

Negative emotions such as depression, anger and guilt are often the cause of substance addiction in the first place. However, they are a normal part of everyone’s life and they are unavoidable. Therefore, learning how to work through and cope with these emotions is important. This can be achieved by going to support group meetings or speaking to a professional.

4. Mental Illness

A leading cause of addiction is mental illness such as clinical depression or an anxiety disorder. If a person were to be affected by an untreated mental disorder, then there is a high risk of returning to substance abuse as the symptoms become too much to handle and the individual self-medicates with drugs or alcohol.

5. Over-Confidence

A cause of relapse that often goes overlooked is over-confidence. A person who has been clean for months can feel that they have beaten the disease of addiction and stop relying on their relapse prevention plan. When this happens, they are opening themselves up to the risk of relapse again because addiction is a life-long disease that generally requires constant maintenance.

By being aware of the common relapse triggers, you can better protect yourself from the downfalls in recovery. For more help with relapse prevention, call Better Addiction Care at 1.800.429.7690.

Sources:

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/frequently-asked-questions/how-effective-drug-addiction-treatment

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/193144