Common Relapse Triggers and How to Avoid Them

The way that the brain links memories is a powerful tool that is used to help you recall important information, but that may also affect your recovery process. Your meetings, your counseling, and your positive coping practices are just as important as ever as you climb the career ladder. Avoid spending time with people who use drugs or abuse alcohol. The places you used to use drugs or drink alcohol carry strong memories and may cause you to linger on thoughts of using again.

  • On this page we want to focus on relapse triggers and how to sharpen your relapse radar as it will help you to recognise the warning signs and take action to avoid the physical relapse.
  • They will also teach you to recognize the stages of relapse and specific coping skills that will help successfully manage these stages.
  • Additionally, individuals who suffer chemical use disorders can find help to decrease the risk of a relapse.
  • The Marquette researchers stated a stressed animal previously exposed to cocaine will crave the drug because the dopamine surge from cocaine trumps the release of stress-related dopamine.

Try not to pass judgment or let your emotions get the best of you. If you begin to feel overwhelmed, whether by frustration or sadness or any other strong emotion, it is best to take a break and wait until you’re calm again before continuing this conversation. This is especially true if there is a marked change in eating or sleeping habits.


Keep in mind that while these are popular coping mechanisms, they might not work for everyone. types of relapse triggers Take the time to figure out what works best for you as part of your personal recovery journey.

How do you know if you’ve relapsed?

The individual usually starts to experience negative emotional responses, such as anger, moodiness and anxious feelings. They also may begin to experience erratic eating and sleeping habits, and their desire for recovery often wanes due to a lack of using their support systems.

However, it’s worth thinking about exactly what impact this has on your life and how it can be avoided. Remission can be followed by a likelihood of relapse so preventive interventions may stop future use. Post treatment relapse rates are very high so dedication and hard work is necessary. Other things that can trigger a relapse include exhaustion, boredom, frustration, unreasonable expectations, depression, impatience, and peer pressure. It’s also common to experience one or more of these triggers at a time. Thus, identifying and managing these triggers can be quite tricky.


Therapists in rehab facilities can offer individuals tools and ideas that can be helpful while battling troubling emotions and compulsions. Additionally, individuals who suffer chemical use disorders can find help to decrease the risk of a relapse. Cognitive behavioral therapy to help individuals control their impulses, which can lower compulsions. Perceived negative emotions like sadness, depression, guilt, loneliness, and anger can lead to emotional relapse.

Does a relapse erase progress?

Relapse is a serious issue that should not be taken lightly, as not addressing it can result in straying further from a successful life in recovery. However, relapse does not erase your recovery progress or start you back at square one.

It forces people to reevaluate their lives and make changes that non-addicts don’t have to make. The tasks of this stage are similar to the tasks that non-addicts face in everyday life. When non-addicts do not develop healthy life skills, the consequence is that they may be unhappy in life. When recovering individuals do not develop healthy life skills, the consequence is that they also may be unhappy in life, but that can lead to relapse. Probably the most important thing to understand about post-acute withdrawal is its prolonged duration, which can last up to 2 years . It is not unusual to have no symptoms for 1 to 2 weeks, only to get hit again . This is when people are at risk of relapse, when they are unprepared for the protracted nature of post-acute withdrawal.

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