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A Guide Through Common RELAPSE Triggers and Addiction Recovery

The nature of triggers and addiction recovery is something that all people with a substance abuse disorder must fully understand. Doing so can help them walk through a substance abuse program more efficiently and give them the help that they need to recover fully.

What are Addiction Triggers?

Addiction triggers can consist of anything that causes you to abuse drugs or relapse after rehab. Their nature is very diverse and consists of people, places, emotions, events, and much more. For example, anger may cause a relapse if a beer helps you calm down. Or happiness may cause a relapse if you want to celebrate and use a drug to have “fun” after learning good news. However, even minor emotional dilemmas, such as hunger, may cause people to relapse. Emotions are probably the most common of these triggers, but people can also be a significant influence. Do you know somebody who always brings over a 12-pack of beer on Saturdays? Such a person is going to be hard to interact with if you want to stay sober because they may feed your triggers. As a result, it is essential to understand not only how triggers and addiction recovery are connected but to know how to take steps to manage this problem effectively. A lot of personal insight is usually necessary, here, because people need to have the strength of character to know why they abuse drugs and what they can do to ensure that it doesn’t happen to them anymore after rehab is over.

Managing Triggers and Addiction Recovery

People trying to learn more about triggers and addiction recovery need to take several steps to ensure that they are fully prepared for this challenge. Though it can be tough to understand this factor, people who want to understand their emotional troubles can follow this process:

  • Examine your past drug abuse situations and ask yourself what caused them to occur
  • Pay special attention to any relapses you may have experienced and figure out what caused them
  • Ask yourself why these triggers affect you in this way and what you can do about it
  • Find a trigger management solution that works for each issue, such as meditation to manage anxiety
  • Implement these plans and stay mindful of how they work whenever you experience a trigger
  • Stay strong in the face of a potential relapse and know how to avoid them
  • Know the importance of getting further treatment after a relapse

This last step is particularly important. Too many people working out triggers and addiction recovery assume that relapse is a sign of weakness or immorality. This idea is wrong – remember, addiction is a disease. And all disorders have a potential for relapse, so get help in a reputable and ethical addiction rehab center if one occurs. Cravings are bound to happen, especially early on in recovery. The difference between being successful in fighting off cravings and falling into a relapse completely relies on your ability to identify your own triggers, manage them when you’re experiencing them, and seek support when you need it. Working with a licensed addiction treatment specialist is a great way to learn more about techniques to help you stay sober over a long period of time, and build up an immunity to your cravings.

Relapse is one of a recovering addict’s worst fears. However, it’s a normal part of the recovery process that most former addicts experience at one point or another during their healing journey. If you’re experiencing one or more of the most common relapse triggers, our team is here to help. Our Florida addiction treatment center is available to help you manage your relapse triggers. To learn more about how you can go about preventing relapse, contact Atlantic Recovery Center today at 1-866-824-5193.

Most Common Relapse Triggers


Stress is a significant factor when considering the desire to use substances, to begin with. Drugs and alcohol often serve as an escape for stressed-out individuals.  As a result, even a minimal amount of added stress can increase a person’s drive towards substance abuse. Make an effort to avoid known sources of stress and have a plan for times when you encounter unavoidable stress.


Emotional upset like sadness and grief is along the same lines as stress when it comes to using drugs and alcohol. They see substances as a way to escape uncomfortable feelings. Make a list of resources you can turn to when you experience emotional upset, such as friends and family to talk to and books to read.


Both mental and physical illnesses can be common relapse triggers. Mental illness, in particular, has long been associated with substance abuse problems. Work with your clinicians to identify and treat mental illnesses. You should also have a list of friends or family members you can call if you start to feel unwell. Ideally, you will have at least one person who you can call any time of day or night in the event of an emergency.


Problems with relationships and sex are common relapse initiators. Individuals who experience dating letdowns, marriage arguments, reduced sex drive or impotency, and other related issues are at an increased risk of having a relapse. Discuss any issues with relationships or sex with your clinician or your support system.


Contrary to popular belief, positive life events like a graduation or job promotion can also be a trigger for addiction relapse. You should not only have a support system in place for negative life events and emergencies but also for good things that happen that can feel overwhelming.


When a recovering addict is in situations where drugs and alcohol are available, it’s much harder to abstain. Former addicts should eliminate old contacts and social circles that enabled substance abuse. They may also want to avoid going out to places where drugs and alcohol are likely to be within easy reach.


That said, former drug users must have healthy social interaction. Isolation and loneliness are both common relapse triggers. Take the opportunity to meet new friends through your group recovery programs and engage with them via phone, text, social media, or in person.


HALT is an acronym used in recovery circles to help former addicts avoid relapse. It stands for “hungry, angry, lonely, tired.” If you become overwhelmed by hunger, anger, loneliness, or fatigue, you are at a higher risk of relapse. Recovering addicts need to eat regularly, socialize healthily, get enough rest, and learn to manage frustration.

What are relapse triggers, and what danger do they present to your recovery from substance use disorder? Triggers are those people, places, and situations that evoke strong, negative feelings. They can be powerful enough to make you feel sad or angry. They can even be powerful enough to make you take that first drink again after years of being sober.


Relapse happens when you start using drugs or drinking alcohol again after recovery from substance use disorder. Many people recover from addiction every year and never fall victim to relapse. For many others, however, cravings and triggers override the coping behaviors learned in rehab, and the cycle begins all over again. If you’ve relapsed after recovery, you’re not alone in your struggle. And all is not lost.

Relapse is a serious bump in the road to lifelong recovery, but it’s not the same as failing. Failing happens when you give up and stop trying to quit drugs or alcohol. Relapse just means it’s time to go back into addiction treatment. Some clients in recovery have relapsed multiple times, yet they still stand up, shake themselves off, and try again. There’s never shame or guilt to be had in trying again, even if it’s your third, fourth, or fifteenth attempt. What matters is that you show up and keep fighting.


Everyone who is in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction has triggers that make them feel overwhelmed, helpless, or out-of-control. Common triggers include:

  1. Stress
  2. Exhaustion
  3. Loneliness
  4. Fear
  5. Trauma

These emotions are powerful for most people. But for those who struggle with substance use disorder, they can be debilitating. Unmanaged stress may keep you in a constant state of worry. You can’t relax. You can’t be happy until the stress is resolved. But if you’re not managing your stress, there can never be a resolution. This is often when relapse happens. You may begin to self-medicate again to help alleviate the uncomfortable feelings that accompany overwhelming stress.

Exhaustion is a second common relapse trigger. Taking on too much and allowing yourself to become run down and out-of-sorts is dangerous for someone in recovery. Generally, it may cause the old cravings to return. Loneliness acts in much the same way. Isolation is almost always a contributing factor to drug abuse and alcoholism. This is why recovery involves socializing with supportive people and being active in your community. Both work to stave off loneliness and isolation that may act as relapse triggers.

Fear and trauma are both relapse triggers because they induce feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. It’s necessary to deal with past trauma, such as an abusive childhood or an instance of sexual violence, to keep it from taking over your life. Trauma and fear are closely related and both may act as relapse triggers to make you begin using again, just to stop the emotional pain.


One of the most successful ways to avoid relapse is to have the support of a solid aftercare program once treatment concludes. Atlantic Recovery Center, serving South Florida, provides just this. Rehab aftercare at Atlantic RecoveryCenter begins with the option of extended residential care. Many clients simply aren’t ready to face life in the real world after a few weeks in recovery. For these individuals, we offer the opportunity to extend care until a more opportune time. We also offer transitional housing facilities, a strong alumni program, and aftercare services that include peer support and crisis intervention.

Clients of Atlantic Recovery Center will always be welcomed to alumni events and provided access to a supportive network of peers and clinicians to help them navigate a drug-free existence without the fear of relapse. If you’re interested in everything Atlantic Recovery Center has to offer, call us today at 1-866-824-5193 for more information.

Staying Healthy and Sober

Fighting through triggers and addiction recovery is a concern that may be hard for some people to handle without the help of a professional. So please call 1-866-824-5193 to contact us at Atlantic Recovery Center today. Our small family-style recovery facility is designed for individualized care in a giving and friendly environment. So start by verifying your insurance to make sure you are covered.

For those in recovery from addiction to drugs or alcohol, a relapse can be a difficult challenge to overcome. Many of those in recovery will relapse at some point, and while it doesn’t mean that they will fail to remain sober, it’s possible that relapse can be avoided. By knowing the signs of relapse, you can avoid this roadblock. Addiction has many faces and can present itself as a significant obstacle in someone’s life. If you or a loved one are showing signs of relapse, seek the help and support of loved ones as well as a certified professional for help.

With the use of an addiction recovery program with a strong relapse prevention plan, individuals can take back control of their lives. There are potential factors along the way that can lead someone back towards addiction, like triggers, but with a support system like the Atlantic Recovery Center, recovery is truly possible.


For someone who struggles with substance abuse, relapse is a prominent obstacle. Maintaining sobriety is much easier said than done and becomes a constant battle for those in the recovery process.

A relapse is when a person who has gone through the recovery process for substance abuse reverts back to their use of the addictive substance. Addiction is a powerful force, and many red flags can foreshadow the potential signs of relapse. It is important to be aware of those signs and reach out to receive the help you or a loved one may need.


One of the most important steps in assisting someone through the addiction recovery process is watching out for the potential signs of relapse. They might be one of the most vital steps in ensuring relapse prevention.

A major sign of relapse is romanticizing the use of drugs or alcohol. An individual may recount and reminisce about the days when they used the substance, causing them to view it in a positive light.

Another warning sign is the belief that the individual can resume their use of the substance without falling back into addiction. Unfortunately, addiction is a chronic condition.

Observe someone’s behavior because it can illuminate traditional behavioral signs that point to relapse. Behavioral signs of relapse include:

  • Increased isolation
  • Avoiding a recovery support system
  • Doubting the effectiveness of the treatment plan
  • Revisiting old relationships during the substance abuse

If you or a loved one are showing signs of addiction relapse, contact one of the professionals at Atlantic Recovery Center and take back control over your life.


Various triggers could lead someone to relapse. One of the most common triggers is depression. Those who suffer from depression typically use substances to combat the depressed feelings. On the other hand, substance abuse can lead to depression, so it a vicious cycle of abusing substances and depression.

Another significant trigger for relapse is stress. Stress wrecks havoc on the mind and body. Substance abuse is a common way for people to cope with stress, and those who used drugs as a coping mechanism are more likely to relapse than others. Among some other common triggers are isolation and exhaustion.

With the proper addiction recovery plan that commits itself to relapse prevention, you can live a life free from addiction.


If you or a loved one are showing signs of relapse, reach out to Atlantic Recovery Center. Our team is here to provide you with the best support during addiction recovery with a focus on relapse prevention. Our specialists offer exceptional care as you work through the recovery process. Contact our team of certified counselors today at 1-866-824-5193 and receive the help you need.