When you’ve recovered from an addiction, you have much to celebrate. You can look forward to a life that you’re in charge of, instead of a life controlled by addiction. But what happens when you relapse back into those negative behaviors? Are you destined to have a relapse? Is there any way to prevent relapses? Addiction triggers are known to lead to relapse. If you could avoid the triggers or eliminate them, it’s possible to avoid relapse. How can you avoid addiction triggers in the future? Effective relapse prevention requires careful thought and planning. The first step is to understand how addiction triggers can lead to relapse.
What Are Addiction Triggers?
Addiction triggers, sometimes called relapse triggers, are internal and external things that cause a person to relapse back into negative behaviors. Addiction triggers are very powerful and can tempt even those who are very serious about wanting to be rid of their addiction. There are basically two types of addiction triggers: internal triggers and external triggers
Internal triggers are more emotional or psychological in nature, while external triggers come from the environment or the people around you. An example of an internal trigger is a stressor. Maybe you come home from a long day at work, and the minute you walk in the door, your kids are asking for dinner. In the past, the first thing you’d do is to open a bottle of wine to medicate yourself against the relentless stress. So the internal trigger to have a glass of wine may occur every time you feel stress. Whether it’s the whining dog that wants to go out or the ringing of the telephone by the collection company, stress makes you crave that glass of wine.
External triggers are more pervasive. You may be triggered to use drugs whenever you think of or see your best friend, who was your “drug buddy.” You may crave a beer every time you see a beer television commercial or watch your favorite TV characters chat over a pint and a plate of nachos. The sound of a beer can cracking open may be enough to send you to the nearest liquor store for a 6-pack. You might not be able to go grocery shopping without a visit down the beer and wine aisle to take home something for later. These are the kinds of addiction triggers that can lead to a relapse. They are all around, and the only way to fight them is with a relapse prevention plan.
What is a Relapse Prevention Plan?
No matter who you are or what you’re addicted to, there is always the possibility of a relapse. A relapse is when you fall back into the same habits and behaviors that you worked so hard to be rid of. Relapse is not inevitable, but it is a potential problem that needs to be addressed. A relapse prevention plan is the best way to help ensure that your freedom from addiction is lasting.
In a relapse prevention plan, you and your counselor identify your addiction triggers. Be prepared, because it may be a long list. Once the addiction triggers are identified, you and your counselor will discuss each one and decide which ones can be avoided. For instance, you can replace your “drug buddy” with a friend who is more supportive of your goals. Other triggers may not be able to be avoided, like going to the grocery store. For those, more intensive relapse prevention measures may be needed.
Rid Yourself of Addition Triggers With Red Oak Recovery
If you fear that you may relapse due to the addiction triggers in your life, talk to the addiction experts at Red Oak Recovery. We offer several addiction treatment programs, including:
- Alcohol addiction treatment
- Heroin addiction treatment
- Meth addiction treatment
- Opioid addiction treatment
- Prescription drug addiction treatment