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Top Relapse Triggers and How to Avoid Them

If you or a loved one are seeking treatment for alcohol or substance abuse, please call our partner facility today:
The PAC Program
(866) 516-8266


When it comes to substance addiction, there are many reasons why people relapse. Even those who have gone through a successful recovery can be vulnerable to setbacks. Being aware of the warning signs can help those who struggle with substance addiction find ways to cope with triggers. Here are some warning signs to look out for.


Some people turn to drugs or alcohol as a way of coping with stress, but it only masks the problem temporarily. Once the effects of the drugs or alcohol wear off, the reality of stress is still present, and the vicious cycle continues. If you are feeling stressed, practicing mindfulness meditation can help you re-focus and be present, thus leaving you more relaxed.


Negative emotions are one of the biggest triggers to relapse. Those who suffer from depression, paranoia, or have anger issues or low self-esteem often turn to drugs or alcohol to escape the pain of these conditions. Here are some ways to combat negative emotions:

  • Surround yourself with positive thinking people.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Meditate.
  • Learn a new hobby or participate in fun activities.


Those who are in recovery may be triggered by many reminders of the addiction. For example, the smell of alcohol or marijuana, running into someone who they used to do drugs with or seeing drug paraphernalia. It can be difficult to avoid some of these reminders, however, here are some things you can do to avoid relapsing:

  • Avoid frequenting locations where you bought or used drugs.
  • Keep yourself away from past social circles (addicted friends, former drug dealers, etc.).
  • Surround yourself with supportive friends and family members.
  • Attend recovery meetings


While peer pressure is often associated with teens, it happens to adults, too. Avoid social situations where you know drugs and alcohol will be present. Being around people who do not understand the complexities of recovery may pressure you to have just one drink, which could put you at risk for a relapse.

Overcoming substance addiction is not an easy feat, and most often, those who are ready to make changes, need a support system that will encourage them to continue the recovery course. If you or a loved one struggle with addiction or is on the verge of a relapse, we can help. Contact The PAC Program today at 623-523-4748 to learn more about our customized treatment programs.