The Top Relapse Triggers in Recovery

Relapse triggers

Relapse triggers are the fuel to full blown addiction. In recovery we are taught that addiction relapse is inevitable, this is not entirely true. When you become aware of the relapse triggers, you can prevent a relapse.

When you can identify your relapse triggers, you are able to avoid and manage them. There basic triggers are obvious, such as:

  • People – toxic family, friends or co-workers
  • Places – environments where there are drugs and alcohol available
  • Things- things that remind us of the ritual of substance abuse such as paraphernalia or drug culture made popular through media.

Common Relapse Triggers


Emotions are normal but when we have overwhelming negative emotions, this could lead to a relapse. Emotions are uncomfortable for most, but for an individual in recovery it is dangerous. If you have been to rehab before you would have been given the vital tools to deal with negative emotions, such as:

  • Group therapy – attending an outpatient program or NA/AA meetings
  • Cognitive therapy – through a therapist
  • Self help therapy – the media has many resources for coping mechanisms for stress and anxiety
  • Reaching out – whether it be a mentor or therapist


Stress is the number-one addiction relapse trigger. Situations such as increased responsibility in the workplace, relationship problems, health issues and financial problems can increase stress.


Becoming overconfident in recovery puts you at risk for a relapse. If you become too sure of your recovery, you open the door for a possible relapse. Reason for this, is that you put down the tools you were given in recovery and attempt to do the same thing and expecting different results.

Mental and Physical Illness

It isn’t uncommon for an individual with underlying mental condition to struggle with sobriety throughout recovery. This is why it is vital that you are assessed correctly in a good rehab that is aware of these co-occurring conditions.  Physical illness can also put you at risk for relapse as you are at your lowest with stress.

Sex and Relationships

Going into a relationship right after rehab is never a good idea. There are a number of reasons for this:

  • Potential break up
  • Verbal and physical abuse
  • Your partner may be an addict
  • You cannot love someone else if you do not love yourself

Glamorizing Past Drug Abuse

When you fantasize about your past drug using days and forget or do not acknowledge the pain it caused, this is a dangerous relapse trigger.  

What Happens if I Relapse?

The truth is that relapse is around every corner and that you do not need to feel ashamed if you slip. If you find yourself spiraling back into full blown addict behavior, it is time to get back into a rehab program before the damage is done. For more information please contact ARCA rehab Jhb or Durban today.

Drug Rehabs in Jhb: Sobering Factors

ARCA rehabs Treatment

ARCA rehab GMB site