Managing Drug related Triggers Can Help Curb Relapse .pdf
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Managing Drug-related Triggers Can Help Curb Relapse
Relapse is a common phenomenon during addiction recovery. It is the stepping stone to the
path of sobriety, not an indication of failure. There are several factors or triggers that can
compel a person to return to using a substance or displaying a compulsive behavior.
In cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), these triggers are referred to as the "five Ws" – when,
where, why, with, and what – or sometimes as “people, places and things” that influence
drug-seeking behavior of a person, according to 12-step programs for recovery from addiction
to alcohol or drugs.
and drug cravings are
the common side effects
of a sudden constraint
on the use of a drug or
alcohol or drug-abuse
circuitry and alters the
with pleasure, rewards,
impulse control and
in such cases, relapse
may be a form of self-medication. In most cases, it is an indicator that treatment needs to be
adjusted or reinstated based on the severity of the relapse.
Spotting triggers to prevent relapse
Studies have shown that stress is a common trigger for relapse. CBT is an effective tool to
cope with both external and internal stressors in order to avoid a potential relapse. In a 2011
study published in the journal Psychiatric Times, the scientists revealed that CBT can play an
important role in helping a person improve his or her neurobiological circuits in the brain.
Since addiction and withdrawal are characterized by depression, anxiety, and mood
fluctuations, CBT can help mitigate some of these symptoms by providing adequate strategies
to manage them.
In addition, a well-monitored inpatient treatment program can be highly beneficial to avoid
any instance of relapse. The main purpose of such a treatment program is to ensure that the
patients are equipped with new strategies and coping mechanisms to deal with their drugseeking behavior before they are discharged from the rehabilitation center. Studies have
shown that the length of a treatment program greatly influences uninterrupted abstinence
and smooth recovery. Thus, the longer patients stay under treatment, the better for their
sobriety, as the brain gets sufficient time to heal.
A comprehensive and holistic substance abuse treatment program includes both therapeutic
methods and time-tested pharmacological processes to minimize relapse and curb triggers.
Medications play an important role during the detoxification process, in which the body is
freed from the toxins left by drugs or alcohol, to help regulate changes in moods, manage
withdrawals and minimize drug cravings. Apart from proper sleep, diet, and physical exercise,
there are several other ways to promote one’s overall well-being and avoid relapse. Some of
the self-help strategies are:
Yoga: Techniques to enhance breathing and stretching go a long way in managing
stress, reducing possible cravings and improving mental health.
Mindfulness meditation: Self-awareness acquired through meditation helps a person
to recognize and cope with potential triggers to relapse in an efficient way.
Acupuncture: Needle therapy administered by a trained professional to boost the flow
of energy in the body helps improve bodily functions and reduce cravings.
Massage therapy: Massage or touch therapy improves blood circulation which is
linked to mental functions.
Leading a drug-free life is possible
Addiction has long been viewed as a sign of moral weakness or a flaw. However, studies have
shown that it is a chronic disease, similar to asthma, high blood pressure and diabetes, with
comparable relapse rates. The detoxification process may be painful, marked by frequent
withdrawal symptoms, but it is a necessary step as it involves the flushing out of toxins from
the body. Besides, it is necessary that the detoxification process is conducted under medical
If you or your loved one is seeking detox treatment to break free from addiction, you may get
in touch with the California Detox Helpline to know about the best rapid detox centers in
California. You may call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-780-2495 to gain information on
various detox and rehab centers in California.
For more information, please visit