Five Common Triggers of Relapse

People who are addicted to certain substances can experience a relapse at least once during their recovery. In fact, others can struggle with this many times before they get finally clean. Understanding the triggers of relapse is important to prevent it from happening. They include the following:


A lot of addicts turn to drugs to try to cope with their stress. While life stress cannot be eliminated totally, extreme stress can be avoided by making changes in one’s lifestyle, priorities, and relationships. Also, ways such as relaxation training, time management, moderate exercised, and healthy eating can help in managing stress.

Places and People

Addicts who stay connected with people who still engage in addictive behavior are likely to experience a relapse. They need to learn ways to handle their feelings if this occurs to cope with it instead of ending up in a relapse. Furthermore, even families can also be a trigger because they may make their addicted loved one feel more vulnerable.


People who are addicted to drugs should learn ways to tolerate, manage, and make sense of their negative feelings. They are used to their addictive behaviors to offer temporary relief from such feelings. Addicts can learn coping strategies from a mental health professional.

Object of the Addiction

Even if an addict is slightly reminded of the object they used to be addicted to, they can have a relapse. Indeed, this can happen if they are not exposed to the drug itself. For instance, they can relapse from a whiff of cigarette smoke. They can resist such triggers by doing relaxation techniques and having a substitute behavior. Also, addicts should visit one of the drug screen locations near them to ensure they are not into it again.


Even positive situations like holidays and birthdays can trigger a relapse. The person feels in control, happy, and sure to handle a drink or a smoke. However, they may not be able to keep it under control. It is common for them to lose their capacity to know the perfect time to stop.

Having somebody with them can help in situations like these. It is important to look for someone they trust and respect who will persuade them to stop what they’re doing when a relapse is about to happen. Moreover, addicts should avoid going into situations where they can relapse alone as good intentions can quickly disappear once the fun has started.

Post Author: Nanci Pru