Addiction Relapse Triggers
Overcoming a drug addiction is a slow process that involves retraining your brain to cope without drugs. While you’re going through drug addiction rehab, it’s important to keep in mind that experiencing strong cravings is common, especially at first. You can help lower your risk of having these cravings by staying away from things that trigger them. You’ll also need to know how to deal with these triggers if you do run into them.
Stress and Negative Emotions
People who become addicted to drugs sometimes do so from using them to deal with negative emotions, such as anger, stress, anxiety, depression, frustration and loneliness. While going through rehab, you’ll be learning new ways to handle these emotions in a healthier manner, such as turning to meditation, breathing exercises and physical exercise. You’ll also learn how to recognize negative thoughts associated with these emotions and redirect or change them to more positive ones.
When you experience cravings due to a negative emotion or stress, try doing one of the following for immediate relief:
- practicing a simple breathing exercise
- distracting yourself by playing with a pet or thinking of a positive image, such as a favorite vacation spot
- helping yourself relax by putting on some soothing music or taking a warm bath
- addiction and sleep practices are important
The physical and emotional symptoms of withdrawal that occur during drug addiction rehab can trigger powerful cravings. Common symptoms include anxiety, trembling, nausea, irritability, headaches, insomnia and fatigue. Instead of turning to drugs to alleviate these symptoms, use all resources that are available to help you get through this difficult time, such as support groups, family and counseling.
Hanging around with people you used to do drugs with can trigger strong cravings? It’s important to distance yourself from friends and acquaintances who still use drugs, since you might be tempted to join them. They also might not be understanding about how rehab works and how important it is for you to not be around those who use drugs during this time. Find supportive friends and acquaintances to spend time with instead, and turn to family members who know and understand what you’re going through. Building a strong support network is a good way to help you cope with triggers and cravings that occur while you’re trying to get better.
Don’t go to certain locations or put yourself in situations that your mind associates with using drugs, such as a club or party. You should also avoid going to bars or any other places where you might end up drinking, since alcohol will have a negative impact on your judgment and could lead to drug use. When you go out to eat or attend a social function, such as a wedding, don’t order any alcoholic beverages, even if you don’t have a drinking problem. During drug addiction rehab, it’s important to stay focused and keep your mind as clear as possible, so you can make sound judgments. Drinking alcohol directly interferes with this and could cause a relapse.
Certain types of prescription drugs, including sleeping pills and painkillers, can lead to addiction. If you’re seeking medical care for something that might require a prescription, make sure your healthcare provider knows that you are going through rehab. They should be able to suggest alternative forms of treatment, prescribe a lower dose of prescription medication or prescribe medication that doesn’t have as much potential for abuse. Don’t be hesitant about switching healthcare providers if your current one is not understanding about your situation.
If something triggers strong cravings that you aren’t able to resist, don’t give up hope on getting through rehab. Instead, turn to your support network for help in becoming sober again as quickly as possible. Relapses can happen even years after you’ve gone through rehab, but recognizing and doing what you can to avoid your addiction relapse triggers can help relapse prevention from happening.
The Treatment Specialist offers Access to Help
If you are in need of additional support at an inpatient or outpatient treatment program for addiction, call to connect to a treatment center at 866-644-7911 and learn about your options.