What Are The Most Common Relapse Triggers?

Recovery from addiction can be a difficult journey, and relapse is often seen as a setback in this process. However, it is important to understand that relapse is common, but it does not mean failure. In fact, many individuals experience relapse multiple times before achieving long-term recovery. Relapsing is common in recovery, but it is not inevitable. It is important to have a plan in place to prevent relapse and continue on the path of recovery. Part of that plan is to understand relapse triggers. But what are relapse triggers? 

At The Right Step, we incorporate relapse prevention skills into our addiction treatment. Call 17135283709 to learn how we can help equip you for long term success. 

What Is a Relapse? 

A relapse occurs when an individual who has been abstaining from substance use returns to using the substance. It is a common part of the recovery journey, and it can happen to anyone at any stage of recovery. When someone relapses, they may feel guilty or ashamed, but it is important to understand that this does not mean they have failed. A relapse is a temporary setback and should be viewed as an opportunity to learn and grow in the recovery process. 

Relapsing Is Not Failure 

It is very important to remember that relapse is not a sign of failure, but rather a part of the recovery process for many people. Recovery is a lifelong journey filled with ups and downs. A relapse does not mean that all progress has been lost. Instead, it provides an opportunity to learn and grow, to identify what led to the relapse, and to make necessary changes in one’s treatment plan. 

What Are Relapse Triggers? 

What are relapse triggers? Relapse triggers are situations, experiences, or emotions that increase the risk of returning to substance use. These triggers vary greatly among individuals. 

Understanding what one’s personal relapse triggers is a crucial step in maintaining sobriety. With this knowledge, individuals can develop coping strategies to handle these triggers and reduce the risk of relapse. 

Most Common Relapse Triggers 

There are a few universal relapse triggers to be aware of. 


Stress is one of the most common relapse triggers for individuals in recovery. The demands and pressures of daily life can become overwhelming, making it tempting to turn to substances as a way to cope. 

Exposure to Drugs or Alcohol 

Being around people who are using drugs or alcohol, or being in environments where these substances are easily accessible, can be a trigger for relapse. 

Negative Emotions 

Negative emotions such as anger, sadness, or loneliness can also be powerful triggers for relapse. These emotions may arise during the recovery process, and it is important to have healthy coping mechanisms in place to deal with them. 

Social Isolation 

Feeling isolated or disconnected from others can increase the risk of relapse. It is important for individuals in recovery to have a supportive network of friends and family who can provide emotional support. 


Feeling too comfortable or overconfident in one’s recovery can also be a trigger for relapse. It is important to continue working on one’s recovery and not become complacent. 

How Relapse Prevention Can Help 

Relapse prevention is a critical component of addiction treatment. It involves identifying potential relapse triggers and developing strategies to manage them effectively. This may include learning new coping skills, improving communication and problem-solving abilities, and establishing a strong support network. 

The benefits of proactive relapse prevention can include: 

  • Increased self-awareness and understanding of personal triggers 
  • Enhanced coping skills and problem-solving abilities 
  • Improved overall well-being and quality of life 
  • Increased confidence in one’s ability to maintain sobriety 

Relapse is a common part of the recovery journey, but it does not have to be inevitable. By understanding relapse triggers and having a solid relapse prevention plan in place, individuals can increase their chances of long-term recovery success.  

Call The Right Step Today to Learn About Relapse Prevention  

At The Right Step, we are committed to helping individuals develop the skills and support needed for a strong and sustainable recovery. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please call 17135283709 today or reach out online to learn more about our comprehensive treatment programs. Together, we can overcome addiction and achieve lasting recovery. 

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