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Common Relapse Triggers And How To Avoid Them After Addiction Rehab

Relapse is a part of the recovery process. However, with the right recovery plan, you can safely navigate life after rehab.

The first step is to identify your major triggers and then come up with a plan on how to avoid or manage them. Some of the most common relapse triggers include:


Many people who find themselves in stressful situations try to cope by taking drugs or alcohol and end up addicted. Experiencing stress may trigger your cravings after rehab. To deal with this, as much as possible, avoid situations that cause you extreme stress. Additionally, find positive ways to minimize or deal with other stressors in your life e.g. yoga, mindfulness, exercise, or counseling.


This is an acronym for Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. These are common high-risk situations that may intensify your addiction cravings. Being in any of these situations may leave you vulnerable to relapse so you need to plan how to avoid them. Good strategies include having a scheduled meal plan, anger management classes, sticking to a regular sleep schedule, attending support group meetings, etc.

Challenging emotions

Negative emotions such as guilt, shame or sadness can be tough to deal with and trying to cope with them may have led to your addiction. While it’s impossible to eliminate all negative emotions from your life, you can be proactive about minimizing the impact they have on you. 

You can learn healthy ways to cope including avoiding situations that cause these emotions, practicing mindfulness, tracking your thoughts and feelings in a journal, and putting into practice the coping skills you learned in rehab.

People or places linked to your addiction

People you used to get high with or places where you used to drink or use drugs are key triggers for relapse. This also includes toxic relationships or loved ones who enable you. The best way to deal with this is to avoid such people and places or to prepare how to deal with such situations beforehand. You may also find it beneficial to move into a sober living community first immediately after rehab as you get used to living in the real world.

Physical or mental illness

Having a physical or mental illness can trigger a relapse. Dealing with depression, anxiety, constant pain or a physical illness may tempt you to seek comfort in addictive substances. To avoid this, you should get the underlying illnesses treated while letting your doctor or mental health specialist know that you’re in recovery. That way, they’ll know to prescribe non-addictive medication.

We Can Help

If you’re struggling with your triggers and are afraid you’ll eventually relapse, Findlay Recovery Center can help. We are an affordable drug and alcohol rehab center in Ohio, offering both residential and outpatient treatment for addiction. Our tailor-made addiction treatment programs are designed to help you identify and manage triggers while living the best sober life you can. Contact us today and we’ll be glad to guide you in your recovery journey.

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