Common Relapse Triggers & How to Deal With Them

There is always the possibility of relapse in recovery, no matter how long you have been sober. However, the best way to avoid this outcome is to understand what puts you at risk and some techniques to manage these risks. Here, we’ll explore the common relapse triggers and how to deal with them so you can stay on track with your sobriety.

If you or your loved one need a safe space to recover from addiction, contact Myrtle Beach Recovery to learn more about our short- and long-term recovery programs.

Common Triggers

Below are the most common triggers that can cause a recovering addict to relapse:

Emotions & Feelings

Certain feelings and emotions can severely put you at risk for relapse. Many people will use substances to alter their mood, make themselves “feel better,” or forget what’s bothering them. That said, the following emotions may have you craving alcohol or another substance:

  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Stress
  • Loneliness
  • Boredom
  • Guilt

Certain Places & People

Maintaining contact with people who were a bad influence before you chose to become sober will be difficult during recovery. The same goes for spending time in places you used to frequent while addicted. This will only cause temptation.


Positive celebrations like holidays and birthdays may be particularly trying when working on your sobriety. You may be surrounded by others who are indulging, and the positive energy may have you feeling you are able to handle a drink when you cannot.

Dating in Early Stages of Recovery

This is often an overlooked area, but it is one of importance. Dating in the early stages of recovery poses a few different risks. First, if the relationship ends, it may leave you feeling stressed, angry, and/or upset, making you more likely to fall back on your addiction as a coping mechanism. In addition, many people often—unknowingly—use a relationship as a way to fill the void of the substance they are no longer using. This can lead to co-dependence, which is another situation in which relapse is more likely to occur.


While you should certainly be proud of yourself for maintaining your sobriety, over-confidence can derail your progress. You might begin to put yourself in riskier situations thinking that you can handle them, and you may feel that you no longer need your relapse prevention plan when it is likely that you still do.

Coping Techniques

Now that you know the common triggers that lead to relapse, here are a few ways you can tackle them:

  • Find a healthy distraction. If you are tempted to use again, one way to rid yourself of these thoughts is to find a healthy distraction, such as exercising, cooking a healthy meal, or engaging in your favorite hobby.
  • Think through the consequences. When you think to yourself, “Just one drink won’t hurt,” really consider that statement. You chose a life of sobriety for a reason—likely because it was negatively affecting your life. One drink could send you back down this dark path.
  • Call someone in your support system. Speaking with someone in your support system can help you dismiss your urge to give in to temptation and serve as a way to distract yourself from thoughts of using.
  • Remove yourself. If you are ever in a situation that feels all too much, there is nothing wrong with simply removing yourself from it. Your sobriety and well-being is always a top priority.

Contact Myrtle Beach Recovery

We hope you better understand the common relapse triggers and how to deal with them. If you need assistance working towards and maintaining your sobriety, don’t hesitate to reach out to Myrtle Beach Recovery today. We offer short-term and long-term recovery programs, providing a safe place to work through the 12 Steps.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you on your path to sobriety.