Early in the quest for sobriety, some have said that they have experienced relapse triggers from sources that they would have least expected. Some individuals experienced triggers from smells, television, news articles, songs, and other elements that reminded them of their abuse. Activities that they would participate in while abusing drugs or alcohol were often a trigger for them even though they were participating in the activities completely sober. The longer that the individuals were able to stay away from their use and remain abstinent, the less tempting these triggers became over time.
With substance abuse, the triggers can be very difficult to deal with because they are different than what one would experience with alcoholism, for example. The individual may have participated in many other activities when they were abusing drugs; therefore, when they try to participate in these activities with family or friends while they are sober, it may trigger them to want to use drugs again. More normal triggers can be attributed to stress, life changes, and other challenging situations or circumstances which may make someone want to return to drug usage again.
Some people find that the relapse triggers are easier to deal with if they are having counseling sessions and fellowship with other people. Dealing with relapse triggers alone can be difficult, especially if you feel like you are the only person who knows how it feels. With group counseling or other types of fellowship for those who are abusing substances, it can be easier because the individual feels as if they have someone they can relate to. There are other people who are addicted to substances and understand those same struggles that the individual who is being tempted is referring to. Having that level of understanding can be very meaningful for some people.
In some cases, it's also a sense of solidarity. If a group of addicted individuals get together in a counseling session and they start talking about what they're struggling with and they relate well to each other, it has a lot of impact. In that same sense, if they all make a pact to work towards not getting involved in a relapse and remaining sober, then there's a better chance that they're going to have success because of that level of solidarity that's associated with the entire experience.
It's important to understand that there are all types of relapse triggers that individuals can experience and deal with. It's hard for someone to relate to these triggers if they have never dealt with any type of addiction before. Things that wouldn't be tempting or bothersome to someone who doesn't have an addiction would be very difficult to deal with for someone who is struggling with overcoming their addiction. As a result, those who have family, friends, or loved ones who are struggling with an addiction may want to consider putting themselves in the addicted individual's perspective to understand what types of elements may be relapse triggers for them in order to help prevent a possible problem in the future.