5 Common Triggers of Drug & Alcohol Relapse


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Many Americans fall into the trap of addictive substances annually. Luckily, most of them understand the effects of such habits on their bodies and families. However, those who join recovery treatment often relapse, opening the door to further negative patterns. They become disheartened and stop their treatments way too soon. Relapsing is a common occurrence in addiction recovery and can be triggered by multiple factors. If you or your loved ones are undergoing recovery, it is critical to know the triggers that may cause a relapse somewhere down the road.

Here are a few common triggers of relapse during the addiction recovery process. 

#1- Stress: Stress, whether physical or emotional, is the most potent trigger for relapse. Recovery itself is a stressful journey where the addict feels pressured about everything. They often feel they cannot talk to others or share their feelings because no one would understand what they are going through. When the stress gets too much to handle, they often relapse and revert to their old addictive habits. It is crucial to understand that the very reason people become addicts is a failure to find the right support system to handle everyday stress. This leads them to find momentary relief in addictive substances, further worsening the dependence. Hence, it is important to remember that stress is a very harmful trigger for addicts in recovery. When under stress, addicts will always try to jump back into drugs to find comfort, causing a relapse. Family members should try to become support systems for addicts in recovery to keep them away from such substances.

#2- Emotional Reasons: Daily life can trigger many emotions, including negative and challenging ones. When a person is trying to stay away from stress, these emotions can trigger it further. When they are not addressed correctly, negative and challenging emotions can trigger relapse as the addict goes back to abusing substances to find relief. It is essential to stick by your loved one’s side and help them overcome any emotional challenges during recovery to prevent them from falling back into destructive habits.

#3- Proximity to Addictive Substances: Being in certain places can trigger people on the road to rehabilitation. Addicts get attached to places as much as to other people. Being in or close to those spaces can trigger powerful relapse symptoms among addicts in recovery. Keeping your loved one away from such places during recovery is essential to avoid a relapse. 

#4- Festivals and Parties: Most people start using drugs with the excuse of celebrations. These occasional festivities become frequent, and pretty soon, one becomes an addict. Since festivals, parties, and other celebrations are often associated with feelings of elation and addicts experience an emotional high with drug use, they often step back into abusing substances to feel that way again. Addicts need to develop a healthy support system to help them prevent any such occurrences at parties/celebrations, or best, stay away from them at all costs. 

#5- Hanging Out With Addicts: Most people start using addictive substances in groups. They form strong bonds with each other and continue abusing substances together. Peer pressure is among the most potent triggers of drug use and even relapse in addicts. Simply being around people who use drugs can test one’s patience, making addicts relapse. Hence, it’s essential to keep your loved one away from such friends or colleagues who might pressure them into using drugs again during recovery. 

About Magnolia Ranch Recovery Addiction Treatment Center

It is essential to stay positive during recovery to avoid relapses. At Magnolia Ranch Recovery, we offer premium addiction treatment services to our clients and assist them with their drug rehab program, along with mental health treatment for co-occurring disorders. Our team of trained therapists aims to provide supportive and compassionate care to those suffering from drug abuse. Our clients choose us for our personalized inpatient programs, residential treatment, and individually designed treatment options. For more information about us, contact us at 888-992-7955 or connect with us via email at info@magnoliaranchrecovery.com. You can also fill out our contact form to get a call back from us.

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Picture of Esra Ahmed - MS, NCC, LPC, MHSP
Esra Ahmed - MS, NCC, LPC, MHSP

Experienced Clinical Director with a demonstrated history of working in the hospital & health care industry. Skilled in Anger Management, Healthcare, Medicine, EMDR, and Life Transitions. Strong healthcare services professional with a Masters Degree focused in Psychology from The University of Memphis.

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