Relapse is probably one of the most commonly feared aspects of recovery, yet there is so much insight that can be gained from discussing and learning about it. While relapse prevention is certainly an important area of exploration for those in sobriety, relapse itself can teach people a lot about what’s working for them in recovery versus what isn’t. Over time, a person can learn about what motivates them to want to abuse substances again. Exploring the types of substance cravings out there can help us to better combat them next time we’re moved or swayed by them.

For years, researchers have explored the concept of relapse cues and have found that what affects one person may not affect another. The individualized differences in relapse cues could be in relation to a person, place, object, situation, or could even involve certain thoughts or emotions. A clear example of this would be the holidays. Seeing billboards up of family members gathering around a dinner table, looking very happy, can motivate one person to abuse substances because they miss that component of their lives that perhaps they don’t have anymore, while another person may think nothing of it at all.

Relapse triggers could also depend on a person’s mood. For example, a person may feel agitated and, therefore, might want to put that emotion away by numbing it with substances. A good recommendation for recognizing these relapse cues is to focus on the H.A.L.T acronym:

Hungry
Angry
Lonely
Tired

If any of these feelings or emotions are taking place, it’s time to do a self-check-in so that we can reassess how certain things are affecting us, and what actions we can take to mitigate the situation. 12-Step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous can be incredibly helpful in learning how to notice these types of instances.

If you’re ready to seek help for addiction or feel a relapse coming on, reach out to a healthcare professional at Alta Loma today. We offer individualized treatment and recovery care while also understanding the link between mental health and substance abuse. Recovery is possible, and there is an entire team of healthcare professionals who truly care about your health and wellbeing. Alta Loma is a world-renowned, Texas state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center exclusively for men. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell, and that’s why we always put the patient first. For more information, call (866) 457-3843 today.


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You understand your needs best. If you have found yourself at a crossroads in your treatment and feel like your program options don’t fully understand you or aspects of your recovery, it’s time to contact the specialists at Alta Loma. We will help you craft the ideal care plan and secure the support you need, quickly, to avoid unnecessary problems. At Alta Loma, that’s our mission — to provide each individual with optimum care for the wellbeing they deserve.