The purpose of this rule is to remind individuals not to resist or sabotage change by insisting that they do recovery their way. A simple test of whether a person is bending the rules is if they look for loopholes in recovery. A warning sign is when clients ask for professional help and consistently ignore the advice. The most important rule of recovery is that a person does not achieve recovery by just not using. Recovery involves creating a new life in which it is easier to not use.

Here are five triggers you need to consider and talk to your therapist or counselor about. Beyond cravings, this can also lead to a longing for the environment or lifestyle that you left and does not provide the same recall for the reasons that you initially sought recovery. Choice House is a Colorado treatment center with an admissions director ready to talk to you about treatment options for lasting sobriety. Triggers that lead to relapse can be different for everyone, but again, the best defense against the pulls of addiction is knowledge and awareness. Substance use triggers are high on the list of areas to look out for on the road of recovery and are the focus of today’s post.


Reflect on what triggered the relapse—the emotional, physical, situational, or relational experiences that immediately preceded the lapse. Inventory not only the feelings you had just before it occurred but examine the environment you were in when you decided to use again. Sometimes nothing was going on—boredom can be a significant trigger of relapse.

types of relapse triggers

We are here to provide assistance in locating an Ark Behavioral Health treatment center that may meet your treatment needs. We do not receive any compensation or commission for referrals to other treatment facilities. The helpline at is available 24/7 to discuss the treatment needs of yourself or a loved one. This helpline is answered by Ark Behavioral Health, an addiction treatment provider with treatment facilities in Massachusetts and Ohio. Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.

Tips for Preventing Addiction Relapse

Relapse triggers are far more extreme for recovering addicts in the early recovery months of addiction treatment. Today’s addiction recovery specialists understand that relapse is a common part of the recovery process. And while many journeys to lasting sobriety might involve a speed bump or two, one of the best ways you can protect yourself against substance abuse relapse is to learn more about it. It is the culmination of an emotional relapse and a mental relapse.

Enlist the help of a friend, counselor or sponsor to get down the triggers you may not think of right off the bat. Negative emotions like sadness, guilt or anger are often core reasons why people begin abusing substances in the first place. When these emotions crop up again during recovery, the brain remembers dealing with them using drugs or alcohol and prompts cravings. The first thing you should do is get in touch with your therapist or sponsor so they can assess the situation and decide the best immediate plan of action. This may mean going back to treatment or attending more meetings/therapy sessions each week, but it will all depend on your personal situation. You’ll want to reach out to your support system as well, but be prepared for them to have their own feelings about your relapse.

Maintain a Support System

By definition, those who want to leave drug addiction behind must navigate new and unfamiliar paths and, often, burnish work and other life skills. The general meaning of relapse is a deterioration in health status after an improvement. In the realm of addiction, relapse has a more specific meaning—a return to substance use after a period of nonuse.

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