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Recognizing Relapse Triggers

a man sits on the couch as he considers relapse triggers and sober living

Relapses are fairly common among people in recovery from substance addiction. If you experience such a setback, you can recover from it and continue your sobriety journey. However, the best possible course of action is to avoid relapse altogether. To achieve this goal, you must understand what triggers your urges to drink or take drugs. You must also know how to spot those triggers when they occur. Relapse prevention therapy will help you meet these essential objectives. You can also take steps on your own to lower your risks. If you need support to prevent a

What Are Relapse Triggers?

Relapses may seem like they happen at random. However, in reality, they’re multi-stage events that take place gradually:

  1. Emotional relapse – You unconsciously start doing things that increase your chances of taking a drink or using drugs.
  2. Mental relapse – You start consciously debating the upside and downside of substance use.
  3. Physical relapse – Thoughts in favor of drinking or taking drugs prevail, and you start using again.

Triggers of Relapse

A trigger is anything that increases the odds of beginning or escalating this process. The things that trigger you may resemble those that affect other people. However, they may also differ in various ways. Relapse triggers known to occur in large numbers of people in recovery include:

  • Being in places or situations that you identify with past substance use
  • Associating with people with that you previously used substances with
  • Exposure to significant amounts of stress
  • Being in the presence of the substance that led to your addiction

Emotional states are also common triggers. As you might expect, these states include down or negative moods. However, they may also include upbeat or positive moods. In addition, some people have increased chances of relapsing simply because they think relapse isn’t possible anymore.

Recognizing Your Triggers as a Key to Sober Living

It takes ongoing effort to maintain your sobriety after completing substance treatment. One major key to sober living is knowing how to recognize your personal relapse triggers. You can do a number of things to undertake this task. That includes such things as:

  • Paying close attention to how you react in specific places or situations
  • Taking note of how you feel in the presence of various people
  • Noting any thoughts or feelings that favor substance use
  • Realizing when your actual urge to drink or take drugs increases

Many experts recommend keeping a journal to record these kinds of activities. You can then track changes over time and refer to them in a convenient manner.

Learn How to Cope With Your Relapse Triggers in Prevention Therapy

Relapse prevention therapy is designed to help you minimize your relapse risks. Your therapist will help you learn how to recognize your unique triggers. You’ll also learn how to avoid your triggers as much as possible. In addition, your therapist will show you how to cope with unavoidable relapse triggers.

A common form of therapy used to meet these goals is cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT. You may also benefit from other forms of relapse prevention. For example, getting help for any additional mental health issues will help you keep your relapse risks low.

Get More Information on Relapse Triggers at Northpoint Colorado

Want to learn more about how to recognize the things that can trigger a relapse? The experts at Northpoint Colorado can help. We specialize in the use of CBT for relapse prevention. The treatment we provide will teach you how to identify your unique triggers. It will also teach you a variety of ways to keep your sobriety efforts on track. Call us today at 970.579.4569 for more information on relapse prevention at Northpoint Colorado. You can also reach us through our online message form.