distressed woman sitting on a bed wondering what are relapse triggers

What Are Relapse Triggers?

What are relapse triggers? The term refers to those people, places, and things that send a recovering substance user running straight for their drug of choice. Relapse triggers vary from person to person. Some users can’t deal with certain street corners. Others can’t stand the sight of pill bottles or spoons.

Whatever the trigger happens to be, users fear them almost as much as relapse itself. That’s because the former so often leads to the latter. Consequently, avoidance of these triggers is a necessary part of sobriety for many users. And to avoid them, we must first know what they are.

Read on to find out what some of the most common triggers are for users everywhere.

What Are Relapse Triggers Socially?

People are the most common relapse triggers. They can fit into two categories:

  • Former drug-using and drinking associates
  • People who drive a user to use drugs

The connection with relapse in the first category is straightforward. We’re more likely to use or drink again when we're with people who use or drink. It’s very difficult to remain sober when you’re with your old drinking buddy and he’s downing shots.

The second category is more fraught. Some users have people in their lives who put such stress on them that they are encouraged to use or drink. For example, a toxic parent, an unstable friend, or an unhappy spouse could all fit the bill. But none of this is to say that a third party compels the user to relapse. Instead, we simply mean that some people tend to create undue stress in the lives of users. These people are relapse triggers.

What Are Relapse Triggers Geographically?

To many users, certain places are associated with drug use and drinking. Maybe it's the smoking section next to the parking lot at work. Or, perhaps, it’s a certain street or even a room in their home.

The pull of a particular place can be strong. Users who take drugs in familiar places have higher tolerances than users who take drugs in novel settings.

Places are even more dangerous if they are both locations where drugs were previously used and purchased. Consequently, combining a sudden location-based craving for drugs with their immediate availability is a recipe for disaster. That’s why alcoholics are advised to steer clear of bars.

How Items Can Cause Relapse

Certain items can trigger a relapse in a drug user. As a result, any object frequently used in the consumption or purchase of drugs can trigger cravings in the user’s mind. As mentioned earlier, things like pill bottles, spoons, syringes, and alcohol containers can trigger a relapse quite quickly if the craving isn’t controlled.

We Help Recovering Drug Users

“What are relapse triggers?” is a question with answers unique to the individual. To a user in the early stages of recovery, relapse triggers can sometimes seem to be everywhere. But we at San Antonio Recovery Center in Texas believe that our affordable, whole-person treatment programs can equip a user to lead a new life. After all, we help you fight relapse triggers with the following array of treatment programs:

If you or someone you love is worried about triggering a relapse, give us a call at 866.957.7885. We’d love to help.

Now is the time to focus on your recovery.


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