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Quitting drugs or alcohol gives you a second chance at life. While the objective is to make the most of your sobriety and fresh start, beating addiction will be an ongoing quest. There are some that manage to never relapse and essentially build a new life free from addiction. Others, have a more difficult time and may find staying sober challenging. Though relapsing is common after suffering from addiction, the best way to minimize it would be to learn the causes and avoid your personal triggers.

What is a Trigger?

When you go to a treatment recovery program, whether it’s for cocaine withdrawal symptoms or any number of other substance abuse issues, you are taught about triggers. These are essentially people, places, or things that might cause you to go back to abusing drugs or alcohol. Here is a look at some of the most common triggers:

Top Causes of Relapse

  1. Stress– One of the top reasons a person would relapse after addiction treatment is stress. Stressful relationships, too many responsibilities, and financial struggles are all common results of relapse which can lead to stress. While some stress is common and unavoidable, if your lifestyle is particularly stressful, you may want to reevaluate it to see where you can make changes.
  2. People or Places Associated with Addictive Behavior– Sometimes people and places can be triggers that cause someone to relapse. An old drinking buddy, for instance, might make you feel like you need to drink or going to a party might trigger the urge to use recreational drugs.

3.Negative and/or Challenging Emotions – Addiction is commonly caused by underlying emotional struggles. If you’re dealing with feelings of depression, stress, anxiety, or have pent up feelings about your past, it may be difficult for you to remain positive, thus causing you to resort to self-medicating to numb the pain.

  1. Seeing Your Vice– Sometimes, the smallest reminder of your “bad habit” can persuade you to use again. Watching a movie with a lot of drinking and partying might convince you to start drinking again. Being around someone who smokes could bring back cravings that cause you to want to smoke.
  2. Too Much Confidence – Rebuilding your self-esteem and confidence is important during addiction recovery. Be that as it may, becoming overly confident could cause you to relapse. For instance, a person who believes that sober living is a “piece of cake” might not try as hard to avoid triggers. This over confidence then causes them to relapse.

Avoiding Relapse Triggers

Addiction is physical and mental, and sometimes relapse is inevitable. That being said, you want to try and prevent relapse to avoid falling further into addiction and losing your recovery progress. To avoid relapsing, it is important to know your triggers and do your best to avoid them. Below aresomesolutions:

Ask for Help – if stress is your issue, getting help can minimize the stress in your life. Ask family members to help out with children, call bill collectors and set up payment arrangements, and whatever else may be necessary to remove the stress you’re under.

Get Some Hobbies – too much time on your hands can cause your mind to wander. To prevent relapsing, it is ideal that you get some hobbies. Do things that make you happy and occupy your down time so you’re not thinking about abusing substances again.

Remove Negative People – If there are negative people in your life you need to remove them. Toxic relationships, unsupportive family members, and even pessimistic friends can hinder your recovery process and cause you to relapse.

Exercise and Diet – Making health a top priority in your life will help minimize the chances of a relapse. Get a nutrient rich meal plan and start exercising at least 3 times per week.

You’ve come so far to reclaim your life and start anew. As you likely know, the road to recovery is an ongoing journey that will require some alterations along the way. If you feel like you’re struggling to stay sober or feel as if you may relapse, try some of the tips provided above. IF all else fails, reach out to a rehab treatment center for continued support and advice.