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Understanding Relapse Triggers

a man struggles with his sobriety when he is triggered to relapse

For a lifelong recovery from addiction, clients need constant support and contingency plans for relapse triggers. After all, healing is rarely a linear journey, and life after rehab certainly has its ups and downs. If you or a loved one is recovering from a substance use disorder, reach out to Lighthouse Recovery’s relapse prevention program for guidance on sober living and avoiding relapse.

At a quality rehab center, clients receive both medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and therapeutic sessions. While the former helps them cope with withdrawal symptoms and cravings, the latter empowers them to remain sober and tackle challenges head-on. To learn more about our treatment programs and access resources for avoiding relapse and sober living, call us at 866.308.2090.

What are Relapse Triggers?

Relapse triggers can be anything that reminds a person of their time with drugs or alcohol, tempting them to use again. While a person may be motivated on their healing journey and enthusiastically commit to sobriety, certain changes in circumstances or emotions may trigger a relapse. Understanding one’s relapse triggers and taking the necessary steps to minimize them is crucial to successful sober living.

Relapse triggers can be external or internal. For instance, walking in the neighborhood where you used to drink with your friends might incite a craving for alcohol. Or, faced with mounting stress and impossible deadlines at work, you might be tempted to drown your sorrows in drugs. Thus, by introspecting and identifying one’s personal relapse triggers, it is possible to come up with a robust plan for sober living.

Examples of external relapse triggers include:

  • Former drug dealers
  • Friends or family members who encouraged the habit
  • Certain bars and clubs
  • Neighborhoods or localities that you frequented in the past
  • Parties, concerts, or gatherings where drinks/drugs are served
  • Magazines or media that have images of drugs/alcohol

Thus, certain people, places, situations, or even objects may trigger memories of substance use and reawaken the urge to start using again. While it may not be feasible to avoid all external triggers, knowing what they are can help a client deal with the negative impulse satisfactorily.

Relapse triggers can also be internal, such as the following:

  • Intense hunger
  • Stress
  • Anger
  • Jealousy
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Fear
  • Depression
  • Boredom
  • Frustration
  • Insecurity
  • Fatigue
  • Loneliness

Thus, a variety of negative emotions can prompt a person to break their sobriety promise and start using again. That is why it is so essential that those in recovery receive emotional care, support and reassurance. By having a strong support network and building healthy habits, one can effectively manage their triggers and avoid relapse.

Managing Relapse Triggers and Avoiding Relapse

The following tips and strategies are frequently used in coping with relapse triggers and avoiding relapse:

  • Surrounding yourself with friends and family who will support you in recovery and hold you accountable for your behavior
  • Developing “sober” hobbies and interests to keep you engaged
  • Minimizing stress in one’s life and making time for oneself
  • Attending one-on-one therapy sessions and support group meetings
  • Having emergency plans for high-risk situations

Find the Secret to Sober Living at Lighthouse Recovery

Recovery from addiction can take months or years, but it is a path to a healthier and happier existence. At Lighthouse Recovery, we help Florida residents and others struggling with addiction to find meaning and purpose in their lives. Our 90-day treatment programs are designed to train clients to be resilient, motivated, and optimistic. With a focus on aftercare and a variety of therapy programs, we ensure that clients receive ongoing support and help, even after treatment is formally complete.

A better and more beautiful life awaits you. Call us at 866.308.2090 and begin the healing journey today.