How to Recognize Triggers and Subsequent Warning Signs of Relapse

How to Recognize Triggers and Subsequent Warning Signs of Relapse

Warning signs of relapse are always important to pay attention to if you or a friend is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. Stressful events, such as the 2020-2021 pandemic, can be especially triggering to those who seek comfort in their addictions.

However, awareness can help anyone overcome. In the following article, we'll be looking at the triggers most likely to knock one off track and the warning signs that accompany them. Let's begin!

Nothing Has Changed About Their Environment or Crew

Earned AA coins are something to be proud of for those suffering from alcohol or drug abuse. However, be careful in assuming all is well if you haven't really noticed a change in the recipient's daily life.

It's highly unlikely (probably impossible) to stop drinking or keep any streak alive if the "former" abuser is still hanging out around areas where alcohol is served regularly. This is especially true if he or she is at those places with all their old drinking buddies.

Bad company does corrupt. So, if you suspect your loved one has fallen off their commitment or is in danger of doing so, pay extra close attention to the people and environments with which they fill up their days. Step in with some of these tactics to help.

Visible Signs of Stress

Alcohol affects the amygdala. This greatly reduces one's ability to deal with stress in healthy ways. It also acts as a telltale sign of alcohol abuse.

When the AA tokens first start building up, you might notice a degree of irritability in the recipient. However, this is somewhat normal as they get used to the alcohol being purged from their systems.

If mood swings are frequent and sudden over a period of time, however, it's a good sign the individual is abusing again. This, and other signs such as over-or-under-eating, show stress. And former abusers are especially vulnerable during these moments. 

Idle Hands

Another better indication than sobriety coins of where the individual is in their journey is how they're spending time and the physical and mental manifestations from those activities. For example, individuals who isolate themselves or do nothing constructive might feel compelled to pick up their bad habits again just to fill the time.

Additionally, they might start to experience physical illnesses and pains as a result of the inactivity. When this does occur, err on the side of caution and assume they're in a likely spot to start abusing once more.

They ‘Got This’

If on the journey to their recovery medallions, the program participant starts to get overconfident about their journey, problems can resurface. This overconfidence might lead them back to the old temptations that spiraled them out of control in the first place.

Pay attention to how they talk about their recovery. If it seems too easy, be alarmed. 

Relapse Fantasies

The final of the relapse warning signs we present to you is the (very common) relapse fantasies. This is when the individual speaks often about wanting a drink, a cigarette, a hit, or a score. 

They're careful to emphasize that they're still sober. Maybe they are. However, the temptation is still there, and all it will take is a little nudge in the wrong direction from the wrong influence.

Recognizing These Warning Signs of Relapse Can Save Lives

Pay close attention to the triggers and warning signs of relapse we've presented here. The journey isn't an easy one. If they're acting like it is, expect trouble. 

Also, try to intervene if you notice them drifting back into the old self-destructive ways or if they're cutting themselves off from others. Last but not least, note the physical and mental struggles they're having and how they're handling them. 

Best of luck to you or your loved one. Search through our collection of AA coins to see which options are available to aid in recovery.