Experts believe that addiction may be a chronic disease. And, like any chronic disease, relapse is a possibility, ever after a long period of sobriety. At The Raleigh House, we know that recovering addicts can improve their odds of avoiding relapse by recognizing their unique triggers and relying on the healthy coping techniques they learned during treatment.
We also know that having a strong support system to rely on after treatment is beneficial in avoiding addiction relapse. That’s one of the reasons our rehab program also emphasizes family involvement. We work together with families to teach them how to help their loved ones stay in recovery. Part of this process includes education about common relapse triggers and warning signs to pay attention to. In part 2 of this blog series, we’ll explore six more relapse triggers – some of which you may not know about.
6 More Addiction Relapse Triggers
1. Boredom: Preventing boredom is important because we know that some people use chemicals to add excitement to their lives. Engaging in fun activities or hobbies is a healthy way for recovering addicts to fill their time in the absence of drugs or alcohol.
2. Ineffective Coping Skills: Addiction recovery is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. As your loved one progresses through the stages of life, he or she may start to fall back into ineffective or unhealthy coping mechanisms. Abandoning the relapse prevention plan is a known relapse trigger.
3. Lack of Sleep: Without enough sleep, it’s impossible for any of us to be at our best. For recovering addicts, lack of sleep could be especially dangerous. A study published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine found that people in the early stages of alcohol addiction recovery who were treated for sleep disturbances like insomnia actually decreased their odds of relapse.
4. Petty Dishonesty: Does your loved one tell unnecessary lies or half-truths about seemingly inconsequential things? Dishonesty during addiction recovery could be an indication that the recovering addict is returning to old, ineffective coping strategies.
5. Self-Pity: Constantly feeling sorry for oneself or strong feelings of victimization could trigger a relapse. Does your loved one accept responsibility for personal choices or place blame on others? Recovering addicts who are taking responsibility for their lives and making better decisions increase their chances of long term recovery. This may be something that will need to be worked on throughout recovery.
6. Unnecessary Arguing: Some recovering addicts will attempt to give themselves a reason to abuse drugs or alcohol again. This may be a conscious or unconscious attempt. Needless arguing over trivial matters, a desire to always be right or overreacting to minor transgressions could all be warning signs of an addiction relapse trigger.
Preventing Addiction Relapse Starts with a Plan
At The Raleigh House we help our residents maintain sobriety after treatment by developing personalized relapse prevention plans. Through understanding how the relapse process works and giving residents the tools they need to identify their triggers, we lay the ground work for a life-long recovery. We also make it a point to educate families. If you missed part one of this two-part series, you can check it out here . And, if someone you love is struggling with addiction, or if you notice any of the triggers discussed here, don’t wait. Contact The Raleigh House today.