Research suggests that relapse is almost inevitable during the recovery process. However, there also appears to be certain triggers that can stimulate an addict to use again. Unfortunately, Addicts often canât predict what is going to trigger their relapse. They donât often see the triggers that stimulate them to relapse and arenât sure what the triggers were once relapse has occurred. Recent studies indicate that identifying relapse triggers is helping addicts recover sooner and longer.
Here are some common triggers that if processed correctly can help addicts prevent relapse:
Exhaustion: Allowing yourself to become overly tired. Not following through on self-care behaviors of adequate rest, good nutrition, and regular exercise. Good physical health is a component of emotional health. How you feel will be reflected in your thinking and judgment.
Dishonesty: It begins with a pattern of small, unnecessary lies with those you interact with in family, social, and at work. This is soon followed by lying to yourself or rationalizing and making excuses for avoiding working your program.
Impatience: Things are not happening fast enough for you. Or, others are not doing what you want them to do or what you think they should do.
Argumentative: Arguing small insignificant points which indicate a need to always be right. This is sometimes seen as developing an excuse to drink.
Depression: Overwhelming and unaccountable despair may occur in cycle. If it does, talk about it and deal with it. You are responsible for taking care of yourself.
Frustration: With people and because things may not be going your way. Remind yourself intermittently that things are not always going to be the way that you want them.
Self-Pity: Feeling like a victim, refusing to acknowledge that you have choices and are responsible for your own life and the quality of it.
Cockiness: "Got it Made," compulsive behavior is no longer a problem. Start putting self in situations where there are temptations to prove to others that you don’t have a problem.
Complacency: Not working your program with the commitment that you started with. Having a little fear is a good thing. More relapses occur when things are going well than when not.
Expecting Too Much From Others: "I’ve changed, why hasn’t everyone else changed too?" You can only control yourself. It would be great if other people changed their self-destructive behaviors, but that is their problem. You have your own problems to monitor and deal with. You cannot expect others to change their lifestyle just because you have.
Letting Up On Discipline: Daily inventory, positive affirmations, 12-Step meetings, therapy, meditation, prayer. This can come from complacency and boredom. Because you cannot afford to be bored with your program, take responsibility-talk about it and problem solve it. The cost of relapse is too great. Sometimes you must accept that you have to do some things that are the routine for a clean and sober life.
The Use of Mood-Altering Chemicals: You may feel the need or desire to get away from things by drinking, popping a few pills, etc., and your physician may participate in the thinking that you will be responsible and not abuse the medication. This is the most subtle way to enter relapse. Take responsibility for your life and the choices that you make.