The 8 Most Common Triggers of Teen Relapse and How to Prevent It
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The 8 Most Common Triggers of Teen Relapse and How to Prevent It

The 8 Most Common Triggers of Teen Relapse and How to Prevent It

Recovery is a life-long journey that requires patience, persistence, and support. Recovery will also come with its share of challenges and temptations. Among the most significant challenges are being in situations that trigger your teen to want to use. By educating yourself, understanding triggers, and planning carefully, you can push your teen through the temptations and focus on putting recovery first. Here are eight common triggers to look out for in your teen’s recovery journey.  

#1. Social Pressure

Social pressure about the choice to stay sober may be challenging as an adolescent. If they continue to socialize with the group of friends involved in substance abuse, there is a strong chance many of those individuals still have similar mindsets. If you find that any of your teen’s friends or peers are pressuring them into using again, it is best to stay away from that social circle. 

Hold them to their standards when in social settings. Do not allow them to fall under social pressure. If they do not feel confident in their ability to do this, bring a friend to help them avoid engaging with this social group.

#2. High Levels of Emotion

Your teenager will likely experience a wide range of high and low emotions. These heightened emotions can lead them to decide to use a substance to ease this emotion. If they feel high levels of negative emotions, they may choose to use a substance to help them feel better. If they feel high levels of positive emotions, they might use substances to celebrate.

Relapsing during a state of high emotion is very common. Try to recognize your teen’s emotional state and know when emotions are higher than usual. Use effective coping skills and refrain from using substances as a coping or celebratory factor. 

#3. Surrounding Environment

Being around substances is one of the most tempting triggers that provoke relapse. If your teen is in a situation where substances are present, it can be hard to resist. While attending parties or social events where they would typically use substances, they may develop the craving to use again.

Avoiding these places altogether is recommended to prevent potential relapse, especially early in recovery. If your teen is around substances and does not feel they can say no, advise them to leave the situation. If they are in a setting where they used to use substances previously, and cravings begin to set in, they need to engage in a different activity or focus thoughts on something positive.

#4. Lack of Support

Our support systems play a prominent role in recovery. When you lack a positive support system, you may also lack trusting individuals to remind you to put recovery first. Leading to the first trigger listed, if their social group is pressuring them into using a substance, the lack of support can cause them to fall into a relapse.

Having supportive friends and family to remind your teen of their goals and encourage them to succeed can help in avoiding feeling isolated during the recovery process. It can be helpful to have a social group that engages in sober activities.

#5. Special Occasions

It may be achievable to avoid using a substance on a day-to-day basis, but it can be hard to refrain on special occasions. On birthdays, weddings, holidays, graduations, or any other special occasion that may occur, the desire to celebrate with substances is drastically increased. 

If you notice any special event coming up, make a plan. Plan your teen’s day with fulfilling activities that can help keep their mind off of substance use. By staying busy and having fun, your child can hopefully forget about the desire to use substances throughout the day.

#6. Over-Confidence

When working through recovery, your child may feel confident in staying sober. Confidence is great, but it is important not to assume they are not at risk for relapse. If they are over-confident and choose to attend social situations where substances are present, they may feel that they can refrain from using. This confidence may work sometimes, but many individuals fall into relapse because they were not able to resist using. 

#7. Self-Isolation

Self-isolation can lead to relapse. If your teen is not engaging in activities with others or getting out to do things they enjoy, they may reach a level of self-isolation and feel bored. When in this state, finding something enjoyable to do can be difficult. Using substances may seem like a way to fix this state of boredom and feel less alone. However, participating in enjoyable activities and avoiding self-isolating can help keep the body and mind busy. 

#8. Lack of Understanding Needs

When your teen’s body signals signs of hunger, anger, thirst, tiredness, or any form of physical need, it can be easy to associate this feeling with craving the substance. Ensuring your teen understands what their body is telling them and avoiding using a substance when these other feelings present themselves can help ensure they don’t fall into a state of relapse

There are a variety of different triggers that can arise, causing teens to fall into a state of relapse. Understanding the eight most common triggers can help you become aware of circumstances that may trigger a relapse. At Clearfork Academy, we will help your teen learn how to handle these situations before they occur. We understand that social pressure, lack of support, special occasions, over-confidence, and lack of understanding of physical needs can lead to relapse. Our programs will help your teen and your family understand addiction and help develop the necessary skills to become aware of their triggers and how to handle them. If your teen is struggling to maintain their recovery, then the time to get help is now. You can help them maintain recovery. To learn more about our programs for teens, reach out to us today by calling (888) 966-8604.