The process of addiction recovery can be challenging, and relapse is common. However, there are a few drug relapse triggers to watch out for as you start your addiction therapy services. Knowing the common drug relapse triggers can help you identify when you are most vulnerable to relapse and prevent it.
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Drug Relapse Triggers
According to Addictions and Recovery, a few of the most common triggers are as follows:
- Withdrawal Symptoms
- People: friends you used to use with
- Places: where you got, dealt, or used to use drugs
- Unpleasant Emotions: angry, tired, or lonely
- Relationships/Sex: if something goes wrong
- Overconfidence: denial that you have a problem and are vulnerable to using
How to Prevent Relapse
Early relapse prevention begins with self- care. If you do not take care of your body’s basic needs, drug relapse triggers emerge.
Make sure to eat a balanced diet, get adequate sleep, and continue with your treatment program. When these needs are not met, you may become irritable and moody and will be more likely to use to offset those drug relapse triggers.
Self-care also involves finding other ways to take care of yourself besides using drugs. For example, if you used to help stress, find something else that could help to relieve stress such as exercising, hiking, drawing, or doing yoga. If you used drugs to reward yourself, find a healthy way to reward yourself now. Get ice cream on Fridays, go shopping, or whatever makes you happy.
When You Want to Use
While these techniques are effective, urges to use are common. Common drug relapse triggers at this point include: thinking about using, thinking about when you used to use, or hanging out with friends you used to use with.
When this happens, a good thing to do is call a supportive friend and let them know that you are thinking about using. This will help you not to feel so alone and you can talk through the issue.
Another useful tool to use is a distraction. Doing nothing will only increase your urges. Instead, get busy and clean your house, go grab coffee with a friend, or do yoga! Most urges to use only last about 15- 30 minutes anyhow, so this will help you to forget about your craving and not relapse.
Finally, make sure to take it one day at a time. Do not focus on staying clean for the rest of your life; focus on staying clean today. Every day is its own battle with new drug relapse triggers. Fight one battle at a time.
Northern Illinois Recovery Center Can Help
Northern Illinois offers a variety of treatment programs including:
- Partial hospitalization program
- Dual Diagnosis Therapy
- Individual Therapy
- Medical Assisted Treatment
To learn more about drug relapse triggers or if you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, call *DM_DirectNumber format=period linked=true* now! You don’t have to let addiction control you! Call us today to take your first steps to a better life!
Licensed Physician and Surgeon
Dr. Beth Dunlap, a board-certified addiction medicine and family medicine physician, and is the medical director at Northern Illinois Recovery Center. She is responsible for overseeing all the integrated medical services at both campuses. Beth completed medical school, residency, and fellowship at Northwestern University, where she continues to serve on the faculty as a member of the Department of Family and Community Medicine. She has extensive experience in addiction medicine at all levels of care, and her clinical interests include integrated primary care and addiction medicine, harm reduction, and medication-assisted treatment.