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Identifying Relapse Triggers

young woman seated in professional office looking pensive as she focuses on identifying relapse triggers

Contrary to what some may believe, the path to lasting recovery is not over once treatment is complete. Participating in an addiction treatment program is one of the best steps you can take toward achieving sobriety. However, long-term sobriety is a lifelong choice that requires dedication, making behavior changes, and developing healthy habits. Adjusting to life after addiction or rehab is one of the most vulnerable times in a person’s recovery journey. Transitioning out of treatment can present new challenges or cause stress. However, proper guidance and preparation can make this adjustment easier for those who are newly sober.

Relapse is one of the biggest concerns for individuals in the early stages of their recovery. A relapse is when someone returns to drug or alcohol use after a period of sustained abstinence. At Insight Recovery Center, we understand the challenges of early sobriety and the risk of relapse. We have a relapse prevention therapy program that can serve as a safety net for clients as they make the next steps in their recovery journeys. If you are looking for addiction treatment or aftercare services like relapse prevention, contact our team at 828.826.1376.

What Are Relapse Triggers?

The first 90 days of sobriety are typically the most challenging and stressful for individuals. The risk of relapse is at its highest as individuals are likely to encounter relapse triggers. So, what are relapse triggers? They are things that bring back memories, thoughts, or feelings of past addiction. Everyone’s circumstances and experiences with addiction are different, which will impact what their triggers are. Identifying your relapse triggers is critical for relapse prevention so you can take steps to avoid them or learn techniques that help you deal with them healthily. 

Some of the most common relapse triggers include:

  • Stress 
  • Being in an environment you associate with past substance abuse
  • Relationship troubles
  • Boredom or having too much idle time
  • Feeling lonely or isolated
  • Experiencing intense emotions like joy or anger
  • Frustration with your recovery progress
  • Negative thinking or low self-esteem

Identifying your relapse triggers helps clients better understand themselves and their cravings. Knowing what can tempt you to begin using again is beneficial when preparing for a new sober lifestyle. This is a crucial part of your ongoing recovery journey and helps individuals take their sobriety day by day.

Relapse Prevention Techniques

Once you identify your relapse triggers, you can work on learning relapse prevention techniques that will help you manage them. Individuals must learn to cope with cravings and manage stress effectively. Learning to face challenges healthily and positively without falling back into old habits and substance abuse offers a greater chance of lasting sobriety and wellness.

Below are some relapse prevention techniques individuals can rely on during any stage of their recovery:

  • Speak with a recovery therapist
  • Become involved with a sober community, such as a support group or alumni program
  • Engage in mindfulness practices such as journaling or meditation
  • Attend and participate in support meetings
  • Be honest about how you feel and what you are thinking
  • Speak with a mentor or sponsor if you are struggling and thinking about relapse
  • Be of service to others

Unfortunately, relapse is not uncommon, and for some, it will play a part in their recovery process. This is not a sign of failure or evidence that treatment did not work, so do not get discouraged. The goal after addiction treatment is to find ways of managing sobriety long-term. If you relapse or feel the urge to begin using substances again, it is a sign to reevaluate your plan and relapse prevention techniques.

Check Out Insight Recovery Center’s Relapse Prevention Therapy Program

Our team understands how exciting yet overwhelming it can feel to start life after treatment. Our relapse prevention therapy program can provide the support you need to feel ready and confident in your sobriety. Contact us at 828.826.1376 or contact Insight Recovery Center online to enroll today.