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Recognizing Relapse Triggers & When to Consider Reentering Drug Rehab Treatment

Many people enter the drug rehab treatment unprepared for the roller coaster ride that is addiction recovery. In actuality, addiction’s hold on the mind has long-term effects that make relapse an ongoing risk for months and even years into the recovery process.

Relapse triggers exist within the day-to-day events and activities that make up a person’s life, many of which he or she may be unaware. For these reasons, being able to recognize relapse triggers can go a long way towards preventing unforeseen episodes from taking shape. While a person can employ certain strategies to eliminate relapse triggers, in some cases, reentering drug rehab treatment is the best option to take.

Addiction’s Hold

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addictive substances like drugs and alcohol hold the ability to change the brain’s chemical environment with repeated use. These changes work to create a physically dependent environment in which the brain cannot function normally in the absence of the drug. In the process, chemical-producing brain cells undergo continuous damage along the way.

In essence, addiction develops out the damage done to the brain’s reward system, an area that lies at the heart of a person’s psychological makeup in terms of his or her motivations, priorities, morals and behaviors. With a full-blown addiction, set patterns of thinking and behavior have taken hold within a person’s psychological makeup, which inevitably impact his or her interest and choices on a day-in, day-out basis. In effect, much of the struggle a person faces in drug rehab treatment has to do with addiction’s ongoing hold over his or her mindset.

Relapse Triggers

Recognizing Relapse Triggers

High stress levels and inner emotional turmoil are common relapse triggers.

During the course of using drugs, the brain reward system makes associations between the drug’s effects and the activities, situations and places that surrounded drug use. According to the U. S. National Library of Medicine, these associations become part of the addiction cycle and further feed the brain’s psychological dependency on the drug’s role in a person’s life.

Relapse triggers can take any number of forms depending on a person’s experiences. Examples of relapse triggers include:

  • High stress levels
  • Inner emotional turmoil
  • Fatigue
  • Places where drug use took place
  • People with which drug use took place
  • Depression
  • Disappointments
  • Feeling sorry for oneself

Drug rehab treatment equips a person with the tools needed to identify relapse triggers and develop strategies for avoiding or managing these areas of his or her life.

Treatment Considerations

Whereas drugs existed as the do-all and end-all when having to do deal with everyday stressors and emotional turmoil, recovering addicts are left with having to develop new ways of managing daily life on a drug-free basis. More oftentimes than not, this means a person has to stay engaged with the recovery process in one way or another. Whether it be through attending 12 Step support group meetings on a weekly basis, psychotherapy or reentering drug rehab treatment, the degree of difficult a person experiences in recovery likely points to level of engagement needed to maintain continued abstinence.

If you or someone you know is struggling in addiction recovery and are considering reentering drug rehab treatment, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-481-6320 to speak with one of our addictions specialists.

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