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Published on March 1, 2024

What are the Common Relapse Triggers and How Can You Avoid Them?

Since addiction is a chronic condition, it means that its recovery isn’t the destination, but rather, it is a continuous journey. Setbacks and relapse are typical with chronic conditions, especially when not adhering to addiction treatment plans or encountering triggers. A trigger might revive your desire to use drugs. Thus, you need to understand these triggers and learn how to prevent them and manage them to remain on your recovery path.


A relapse trigger may not necessarily stem from an unpleasant or harmful situation. Celebrations, parties, and holidays can be fraught with temptation. Alcohol is widely served at festivities in the United States. While this may make for a fun time for other people, it may bother you while you are recovering. The noises, scents, and overall ambiance of a party might evoke memories of addiction, prompting cravings.

If close friends or relatives are throwing a party, you can ask whether or not alcohol will be served there. Most individuals close to you will realize you’re in recovery and will be ready to make arrangements to ensure your comfort while you are in attendance. They may elect to remove any alcoholic drinks or guarantee that such substances aren’t left out in the open.


During boredom, you’ll typically try to make things better by doing something that makes you happy or enjoyable. During your active addiction, drug use was most likely associated with “a good time” or the remedy for boredom, and memories and cravings may be aroused when you’re feeling bored. It also causes your mind to wander, which might lead to gloomy thoughts about your current circumstances.


Specialists believe that stress is the most prevalent relapse trigger since it may occur in various aspects of life: difficulties in a relationship, an unsuitable work environment, transportation, or even thinking about the future. All these things can cause stress and the risk of relapse.

The vital key to avoiding a stress relapse trigger is to stay proactive. You must list your stress sources and devise strategies to prevent or, at least, safely manage them. Finding a new work may be the best course of action if your current employment is causing you undue stress. Talking to a spouse or pals might help to relieve tension.


It might appear to be a strange relapse trigger, yet nostalgia has a significant effect on recovering individuals. You may fondly recall the parties you attended and the people you met during your addiction years, i.e., a period before you realized how much agony and suffering the sickness had caused. You might also feel nostalgic for basic items you’d use. A certain sound, sight, or scent may act as a trigger, resurfacing urges for your preferred substance.

While recovering, you might reflect on the past or revisit sites you frequented during your active addiction years. These factors can often trigger cravings. You need to be comfortable and protected during your recuperation; therefore, you should avoid those locations and ideas to the best of your abilities. Talk about your thoughts and urges with a helpful friend who can help you gain the right perspective and remember why you chose recovery.

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