Common Relapse Triggers

man with head down trying to avoid Common Relapse Triggers

What Are Relapse Triggers?

Relapse triggers are emotional, environmental, and social circumstances that impact individuals who are trying to overcome addiction. Triggers can make the person develop an urge to use the substance again, leading to a relapse.

Almost half of the people who seek treatment for substance use disorders relapse within a year after leaving rehab. Understanding common relapse triggers can help you to avoid relapsing after drug and alcohol detox.

Avoiding Relapse Triggers

Detox programs allow you to cultivate the essential skills for dealing with triggers through various programs, including:

Why Should You Avoid Relapse?

Long-term abuse of drugs creates a connection between drug experiences and daily routines. Exposure to particular cues can make an individual develop an acute craving. These cravings occur as a reflex to internal and external triggers and can affect even people who have been abstaining from drugs for a long time.

If you have fully recovered from substance abuse, avoiding relapse is critical for several reasons:

  • Returning to the old life can make it challenging to recover
  • Life-threatening health consequences
  • Negative impacts on your self-esteem
  • Adverse impacts on your family and friends
  • Relapse and continuing the vicious cycle of addiction

Common Relapse Triggers

There are some common relapse triggers an individual may experience. These include:

Emotional Triggers

One of the main reasons people engage in alcohol or drug abuse is to manage negative emotions. These emotions can also force a person in addiction recovery to revert to the previous lifestyle. It may not be possible to avoid feelings of loneliness, guilt, anger, and sadness. You must learn how to handle them as a normal part of the recovery process.

Mental Health Issues

Underlying mental issues like anxiety and depression can trigger a relapse episode. Also, those experiencing physical pain and chronic illnesses are at risk of returning to their old behaviors. Exercise caution when using physical and mental health disorder prescription medication as they can alter your brain chemistry. In some cases, this may worsen addiction symptoms.

While you recover, talk to your healthcare provider about your situation and insist on drugs that are not addictive. If you have underlying mental health problems, seek treatment for these conditions as well.

Social Isolation

Recovering from substance abuse is challenging for many people, but isolating yourself can lead to uncomfortable emotions and loneliness. Instead of isolation, associate yourself with a reliable support system that can help you to succeed in your recovery journey.

Many of those recovering from addiction suffer from social anxiety. Continuing with aftercare and becoming aware of the common relapse triggers can assist in dealing with such issues.

After you complete an inpatient detox program, specialists can recommend the best support groups and continuing care for your situation.


Stress is one of the primary causes of relapse as it leads to a wide range of unpleasant effects on the individual. There are several common causes of stress, including health issues, increased responsibilities, loss of a loved one, and job loss. You can avoid stress by practicing mindfulness in your daily activities.

A clear in-depth understanding of the circumstances surrounding your situation can help you combat addiction after a drug or alcohol detox program, reports the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).


When you become overconfident during recovery, you’re at risk of relapse. While it’s okay to believe in your abilities, overconfidence can lead to complacency. As such, some people may feel they don’t need aftercare services anymore. Completing the individualized plan is essential in enabling you to avoid a relapse.

Find Help After Relapse

If you’re going through a recovery program, following the guidance of a professional is vital to overcoming your addiction. At Summit Detox, we understand that many people find it challenging to avoid a relapse, so we’re ready to help you maintain lifelong sobriety.

For a successful outcome, we’ll teach you about the common relapse triggers and how to avoid them. Contact us today at (888) 995-5265 to schedule an appointment.

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