Chat with us, powered by LiveChat
Menu Close


Addiction doesn't wait.

Take your first steps towards addiction recovery with Serenity Grove.

How to Identify Your Relapse Triggers

a young man comes back to treatment after a relapse

Relapse prevention is an important tool for anyone looking to maintain a successful recovery journey. It involves understanding and identifying the triggers that may cause a relapse. By doing so, it can be easier to avoid certain situations or feelings that could lead to drinking or using again.

Serenity Grove provides addiction treatment programs, aftercare planning, and relapse prevention resources in Athens, Georgia. To learn more about our programs and services, contact us at 844.904.3485 or online today.

How to Identify Your Relapse Triggers

Relapse triggers are things that cue your brain to crave using again because of your past substance use. An important step in identifying your triggers is understanding what they are. It is a myth that you can permanently remove relapse triggers. But knowing what they are will help you make an action plan to deal with them.


The phrase HALT represents some of the most common triggers for relapse. HALT stands for:

  • H – Hungry
  • A – Angry
  • L – Lonely
  • T – Tired

All of these emotions can trigger a relapse. Each of these emotions has its own feelings and complexities to unpack.


Hunger is not just the feeling of needing a good meal. However, if you are hungry, it can trigger different emotions that may be relapse triggers. So it is important to be sure to feed your body healthy meals that nourish it. When discussing the soul part of hunger, it is a hunger for more in your life. This type of hunger is about community. Emotional needs such as attention, comfort, understanding, or companionship are all things that people hunger for; it’s what makes you human. When you feel a void in your life, it is easy to seek fulfillment from people or things that are not healthy. In recovery, it is essential to surround yourself with healthy people who understand the battle you are fighting and can support you.


Anger can act as a motivator for change. The problem comes when you do not know how to handle anger constructively. When you hold anger in a destructive way, you turn it against yourself or others. There are various ways you can work to let go of feelings of resentment. Some ways to let go of anger include:

  • Acknowledging resentment
  • Identifying what is in your power
  • Taking action where you have that power
  • Letting go of anything outside your power
  • Making gratitude a daily habit


Have you ever been lonely even though you’re surrounded by people? Loneliness is so much more than just not being physically alone. That is why when loneliness gets discussed, it connects back to hunger and community. However, there are key differences. If you are experiencing loneliness, reach out to your substance use disorder counselor for tips and tricks to create meaningful connections.


Being physically tired can dangerous in many ways. When your brain is not fresh, you tend to make regretful decisions. In addition to being physically tired, you can be emotionally and spiritually exhausted. This is the most dangerous type of tiredness for those in recovery. When you are so overwhelmed and overloaded that you cannot deal with your emotions in healthy ways, it leads you to deal with your feelings in old familiar, unhealthy ways.

Some ways to gain perspective:

  • Take breaks to breathe
  • Take vacations
  • Smell the fresh air
  • Write in your journal
  • Practice mindfulness

The Importance of Relapse Prevention

Relapse prevention is a critical component of any successful treatment plan. Relapse can be a difficult process for individuals with substance use disorder, yet it remains an all-too-common occurrence. To reduce the likelihood of relapse, there are several strategies that can be taken to help prevent it from occurring.

Working with a counselor or therapist is an essential part of any relapse prevention plan. A qualified professional can help create tailored strategies for managing triggers, improving communication skills, and setting achievable goals to strengthen abstinence and ultimately prevent relapse. With the proper support and guidance, individuals who suffer from substance use disorder can find success in maintaining sobriety and living a healthier life.

While relapse prevention is essential for those suffering from substance use disorder, it is important to remember that recovery is a continuous process that takes time, patience, and dedication. Setting realistic goals, engaging in healthy activities, and seeking help when needed can make all the difference in creating a successful treatment plan. With the right attitude and guidance, one can create a lasting recovery plan that leads to improved overall well-being.

Avoid Relapse with Help from Serenity Grove

Begin on the path to long-term sobriety today by identifying your relapse triggers and finding new and healthy ways to address them. Serenity Grove is a dual diagnosis alcohol and drug treatment center. Our attentive, experienced, and friendly staff are on hand to help you through your addiction recovery journey. Take the time to prioritize your health and contact Serenity Grove today via our online form or by calling us at 844.904.3485.