Recovering from drug addiction is a difficult process. During recovery, people can relapse due to psychological dependence, physical dependence, withdrawal symptoms, and just feeling tired. Research has demonstrated that relapsing is a part of recovery. But knowing both the triggers and warning signs of drug relapse can help you or a loved one stay sober for life.
Common Relapse Triggers
When in recovery, there are things that may trigger you to relapse. There are internal and external triggers that you need to watch out for to prevent a relapse.
External Relapse Triggers
- Friends & Family that Use Drugs To avoid a relapse, stay away from those who may encourage you to use drugs. If a friend or family member is a drug user, don’t handle the drugs they offer. It will provide you with the opportunity to use them. Try not to deal with users because this will lead to a relapse.
- Returning to Locations Where you used Drugs Returning to the location where you used drugs will trigger you to use them again. Avoid returning to places like bars, parties, and locations where people use drugs because this will make you want to use them.
- Former Drug Dealers When you keep in contact with drug dealers, this will trigger you to use drugs again. It will happen because they want to get money, and you want to receive drugs. Once you talk with them, you will be tempted to buy drugs again.
- Empty Pill Bottles When you keep the pill bottles at home that you used to use drugs, this will trigger you to relapse. It will happen because these empty pill bottles will remind you of the type of drugs you used to take and the high that was experienced when using the drug. It may trigger your brain and physical body to want those same feelings again.
Internal Relapse Triggers
- Negative Emotions Negative emotions and loneliness may trigger you to use drugs. Negative emotions lead to anxiety, making you want to use drugs again to get the high you experienced from the drug. If your emotions make you feel anxious, depressed, and helpless, you may use drugs again because this will make you get rid of these negative feelings.
- Mood Swings When mood swings occur in recovery, they can lead you to relapse. It will happen because mood swings change your behavior, which can trigger you to use drugs again. After all, they trigger what your brain has been conditioned to do.
- Boredom When bored, you may use drugs again. When you are bored, your brain will create a craving for the drug, so you will use drugs again to become stimulated.
- Fear or Anxiety Fear or anxiety triggers a relapse and can lead to depression. When you have depression, your strong desire for drugs will increase again.
- Low Self-Esteem When low self-esteem triggers a relapse, it is because when you have low self-esteem, you feel useless and unproductive. It will lead to the desire for drugs again because you feel that they will make you more productive and useful.
Warning Signs Of A Relapse
To prevent a drug relapse, you need to understand the warning signs of relapse.
- Mood Swings When you notice that your mood is changing, it is a relapse warning sign. It will happen because your mood swings are due to cravings and urge for drugs.
- Loneliness Loneliness can cause the user to want drugs, which creates an addiction again. Feeling lonely makes you want to use the drug, so you feel like you are not alone or in pain from loneliness.
- Sadness When sadness occurs over a situation where it seems hopeless or when you feel like your dreams won’t come true. It will make you want to use drugs again to get the high that makes you happy and forget about the depressing situation that caused the sadness in the first place.
- Feelings of Self-Pity When you feel sorry for yourself, it can trigger your brain and chemicals that make you want the high from using drugs again.
In conclusion, a drug relapse can occur at any time. It is important to prevent a relapse by understanding the warning signs and triggers that can lead you to use drugs. Relapses in recovery happen, but it is possible to learn how to recover after a relapse and become sober again. It is possible to learn how to prevent a relapse by using strategies, support from family and friends, therapy, and drug treatment. To get help preventing a relapse, call 833-846-5669.