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6 Surprising Triggers for a Drug Relapse

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drug addictWhile there are several drug relapse warning signs for addicts, some go unnoticed and get looked over. There are all types of triggers for a relapse to be aware of, some of which even an addict wouldn’t expect. An alcohol and/or drug relapse is not a matter to take lightly. It only takes one slip to throw an addict back into active addiction.

Major Triggers for a Relapse

Understanding the triggers of drug use plays a critical role in drug relapse prevention. It’s important that addicts and those closest to them are aware of these so that they can be on the lookout for distress and deal with triggers as appropriate as possible to prevent a relapse from occurring.

1. Feeling Overconfident

While confidence is great to have in one’s self and in recovery from addiction, overconfidence can be a sign and trigger for drug relapse. Feeling too confident in recovery can lead an addict to think that they are “fixed” or “fine” without additional addiction treatment. An addict may truly believe that they will “never” use again, which can leave them susceptible to abusing drugs during a time they would have never anticipated. It’s important to keep up with a recovery plan, so that when bad days do come, support is readily available and issues are able to be addressed before any drug use even takes place.

2. Television & Electronics

Whether illicit activity and drug use is rampant on the television shows and video games an addict enjoys or not, television and similar electronic devices like video games or cell phone games can be triggering. Sometimes, just the actions that take place on TV shows, movies, or video games can be enough to remind an addict of their old negative behaviors, drug use, and related activities. It’s not that an addict has to completely cut out all television and electronic use, but it may be helpful to limit the time spent on watching or playing on the devices as well as taking a break if the concept becomes troublesome.

3. Overworking Yourself

It’s not uncommon for addicts to begin working excessively, overbooking themselves, or making themselves busy all of the time. It can actually be good when all of their time is occupied, but the downside is that it may induce stress and anxiety, which can be triggering to an addict. Spending too many hours on a project or working overtime regularly can negatively impact an addict who may just need time to breathe. It’s critical to watch out for when you are “overdoing” it and be gentle with yourself by finding at least some time for self-care.

4. Big Changes and Major Events

It may come as a shock, but major events and big life changes can be triggering for addicts. Whether the adjustment brings stress or the idea of such a huge change becomes overwhelming, these types of major events can lead an addict to relapse on drugs and alcohol to cope. During any major event, such as a job change, marriage, birth of a child, death of a loved one, or move, an addict should be cautious and make sure they have a network of support to reach out to for help when necessary.

5. Isolation

Everybody needs their space sometimes, but being independent and having solitude is very different than isolating. Isolation becomes worrisome when you withdraw yourself from others, including loved ones and supports. This can be a trigger for a drug relapse for an addict because it leaves the addict with themselves and stuck in their own thinking, which may point them in a bad direction, especially when they are dealing with a stressful or upsetting situation on their own.

6. Feeling Happy

Some people may think that when an addict is happy, there’s nothing to worry about, but this is false. Feeling can happy may be a trigger for relapse too because a recovering addict may want to celebrate or be in such euphoria that more is desired. Of course, every recovering addict deserves to feel happy naturally, but it doesn’t mean that their guard should be let down. Addicts use for all types of reasons, whether it be that they are angry, sad, happy, tired, frustrated, etc.

Noticing even the surprising triggers for a drug relapse can prevent recovering addicts from slipping up and falling back into active addiction. Preventative measures like awareness and seeking support when necessary are critical components to stopping a relapse before it happens. While relapse may be part of some recovering addict’s story, it doesn’t have to be for every addict. Recovery is possible for anybody who wants it.

Are you struggling with urges to relapse on drugs and/or alcohol? Have you found yourself back in active addiction? Don’t let a drug relapse get the best of you. Addicts DO recover, and The Watershed is here to help! Call The Watershed at 1-800-861-1768 for support and live the clean life you deserve.




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