5 Triggers That Can Lead to Addiction Relapses

Addiction relapse is not uncommon. Whether your addiction was to drugs, alcohol, or even shopping, recognizing the situations that spark destructive behavior before they take over is the best way to avoid a recurrence.

Triggers That Can Lead to Addiction Relapses


Whether being alone is by choice or because of outside issues, it can be a big huge trigger. If you don’t want to leave the house because it’s too cold outside or you want to catch up on homework, or you’re binging a show, segregating yourself from other people can become a major issue.

The longer you avoid social situations, the more secluded you will become. With prolonged isolation, you can start to rationalize using again:

  • No one will see me.
  • There’s no one around to stop me.
  • I’ll only use this one time.

These rationalizations can be very dangerous. Everyone gets lonely, even celebrities, but that loneliness does not need to lead to substance abuse.

Overconfidence in Your Ability To Stay Clean

If you believe that nothing can cause you to start drinking or using again, you could be ignoring a major issue. Getting to the point where you are complacent can lead to risky behavior and a potential relapse.

While you should be confident in your strengths, you must be vigilant in acknowledging the triggers that can bring you down. You have to continually work on your recovery and remember the things you learned to deal with your addiction.

If your confidence has overcome your ability to recognize destructive behavior, consider returning to a private rehab Los Angeles.

Stress at Home or Work

With a pile of bills to pay and seemingly never-ending chores around the house, your home can be a very stressful place. While opposite sides of a coin, a promotion or a layoff can both bring massive stressors into your life. A job termination can extend your stay at home, leading to isolation, feelings of worthlessness, concerns about money and fear of interviews, and a job search. A promotion brings more responsibilities, maybe a new boss, and possibly more employees asking you for guidance. If phone calls and emails increase to too stressful levels, your recovery could be in danger.


Maintaining friendships with people who still have substance abuse issues can spark a downward spiral. A spouse or partner who is often absent or, conversely, always in your space can lead to aggravation or annoyance. Parents who don’t appreciate your work to stay clean or belittle your accomplishments can provoke a negative response from your addictive personality. Even your kids can unwittingly set you off. Be open with the people in your life. Tell them about your feelings and how their behaviors affect you. If they don’t know, they can’t help.

Being Around Substances

Going to bars where alcohol flows freely, being at parties where drug use is tolerated or even promoted, and being in situations similar to those that lead to your using or abusing substances can create a perfect storm to set you off on a series of destructive behaviors. Smelling cigarette smoke, hearing ice clinking in a whiskey glass, or seeing people with drug paraphernalia can all cause a relapse. You might start to think you can control the urge to light up or have just one drink, and that can lead to a complete loss of control.

You must remember that your addiction is a chronic issue, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. The best way to stay on course is by recognizing the things that can trigger a relapse and using the tools gained in recovery to handle them.

Like the post? Share it with your friends and family :)
Scroll to Top