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Recognizing Relapse Triggers

Man learns about relapse triggers

It isn’t uncommon for individuals in recovery from addiction to return to use, even after completing a formal treatment program. That does not mean that the treatment didn’t work or the person is a lost cause—rather, it offers an opportunity to examine what went wrong and identify the person’s relapse triggers to formulate a better relapse prevention plan.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, reach out to Serenity Grove’s customized treatment programs with a focus on relapse prevention therapy.

Living sober is a lifelong commitment that requires one to be self-motivated and patient. However unforeseen circumstances might tempt them back to their old ways and trigger a relapse. To learn more about relapse triggers and how to avoid them, call us at 844.904.3485.

Recognizing Relapse Triggers and How to Avoid Them

In many cases, a person may suffer a relapse after surviving a challenging or traumatic situation. Or, a memory from the past may resurface, tempting them to return to use. Or perhaps, their circumstances might prevent them from saying “no” even if they really want to. Either way, the best method of relapse prevention is to identify one’s personal relapse triggers and formulate contingency plans around them.


HALT is the acronym for “Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired.” When a client is in one or more of the HALT states, they are more likely to be impulsive and make bad decisions.

This is why it is important to make sustainable lifestyle changes after a stint in rehab. These changes may include:

  • Eating healthily and mindfully
  • Attending anger management classes
  • Building a strong support system
  • Exercising regularly
  • Taking up meditation or yoga


Chronic stress also has far-reaching consequences on one’s physical and mental health. While it may not be possible to completely eliminate stress from the workplace or family obligations, it is possible to work these relapse triggers in the following ways:

  • Learn to say “no” more often
  • Set clear boundaries
  • Avoid work emails and social media at night/early morning
  • Practice gratitude and mindfulness
  • Make time in your schedule for “self-care”


Another reason for relapse might be over-confidence. Recovery is a lifelong process and there may be days when you may struggle to find the motivation and willpower to stay true to your promise. So, when things are going well, it is important to not get over-confident and complacent. Instead, take it slow, one day at a time, and ask your friends and family to hold you accountable.

External Triggers

Relapse triggers can often be external, such as a person or a place. For instance, if you started drinking out of peer pressure, it is best to avoid hanging out with that circle or going to events where alcohol is freely served. Similarly, make sure to cut off ties with former drug dealers or people who encouraged unhealthy habits. Also avoid the bars, neighborhoods, and other places that might hold difficult or bittersweet memories for you.

Find the Secret to Living Sober at Serenity Grove Recovery

At Serenity Grove, we are committed to helping citizens rebuild their lives after addiction. We educate each person about these relapse triggers and how to work around them. Through a mixture of medication-assisted treatment (MAT), evidence-based therapies (EBT), and holistic practices, we guide our clients on the path of living sober.

As a family-owned residential facility, we offer end-to-end care services. From detox to inpatient treatment to outpatient care and beyond, we are there for our clients at every step. We even offer a lifelong continuing care program so that our clients can always enjoy ongoing support and reach out to us in case of an emergency—which in turn, helps in relapse prevention.

No matter how severe the condition, you can always count on us to help. Call us at 844.904.3485 today and take the first step towards living sober.