Triggers That Slip Under The Radar

by AdamS on September 29, 2012

Even the most prepared of people in recovery can be caught off guard by various relapse triggers. They can be diligently maintaining their sobriety by living in a halfway house or taking part in intensive outpatient programs and still get tempted because of unexpected triggers.  There are some fairly common relapse triggers that people are made very aware of in treatment such as, major life changes, death of a close friend or family member, or hanging around places and people that promote substance abuse. However, there are triggers that can slip under the radar to surprise well-meaning recovering addicts.


Studies have shown that when recovering addicts are fresh out of rehabilitation, they are vulnerable to jumping into a relationship that may result in a relapse. They run the risk of looking for something to cling to for their emotional needs or an escape from the stress of life. The danger lies in trying to replace their prior addiction while naively developing a new one. Addictions to relationships pose a threat of falling into old patterns of life for various reasons; such as if the relationship does not work out. If the relationship ends poorly, then the recovering addict may turn to drugs or alcohol to relieve the hurt they are experiencing from a breakup. Newly sober addicts still may have an unhealthy perception of relationships, and do not have the discernment that is required for choosing a person that would be good for them.


When someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol, their whole lives are consumed with attaining that substance. They get accustom to being drunk or high during various activities and spend time with people that are often involved with similar interests. People with a new found sobriety might find themselves falling easily into boredom because they aren’t use to taking part in activities without substance abuse. To prevent this, individuals should be intentional and careful about how they are spending their time. They should monitor how their time is spent and take precautions that make sure they are filling their days with relaxation as well as activities that would distract them from thinking that their lifestyle of addiction is more attractive.

Undiagnosed Health Problems

One of the primary reasons that people go through bouts of relapse is because of undiagnosed mental illnesses. Depressive and personality disorders are among the most common because there are so many different variations. Addicts that seek treatment do not always realize that they are struggling with a co-occurring condition until they are in treatment, and if both are not treated individually then they are in jeopardy of relapsing without understanding the reason. Recovering addicts should be careful if they are receiving prescription drugs from their doctor without letting them know that they are recovering.


If you don’t know the risks, then it is more difficult to avoid relapse. It is important that recovering addicts are being self-aware and take the time to learn about the triggers that they are most vulnerable to. To ensure a lasting life of sobriety, people should safeguard their lives against anything that threatens it. The best thing that a recovering addict can do is stay plugged into recovery program through intensive outpatient program like the one found at

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