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Common Relapse Triggers

Experience clinician-run addiction treatment at Red Oak Recovery® in the pristine Blue Ridge Mountains

Common Relapse Triggers

People often say that getting sober is much easier than staying sober, which is very true. With how addiction affects the brain, it’s essential to learn how to manage triggers, which lead to cravings. To overcome your addiction for good, you need to be aware of the most common relapse triggers. Going to a drug and alcohol addiction therapy program allows you to not only identify these triggers but learn how to cope with them as well.

At Red Oak Recovery®, we are proud to provide relapse prevention therapy to the clients at our addiction treatment programs. When you are engaged in rehab, engaging in this treatment not only prevents relapse but also teaches you new ways to deal with triggers. Our treatment options are extensive and can be tailored to the needs of the clients we treat. For more information about our therapeutic options, please contact Red Oak Recovery® today at 866.457.7590.

What Are Relapse Triggers?


The famous psychologist B.F. Skinner introduced the world to context-dependent memory and studied positive reinforcement. Basically, the brain is set up in a habit loop of a trigger, behavior, and rewards. As the person continues this cycle, the brain becomes conditioned to develop cravings whenever you come across relapse triggers. These triggers can be anything from sights, to sounds, to emotions, memories, and much more. Many of the relapse triggers that people have experienced include the following as well as more:

  • Stress
  • Family
  • Work
  • Boredom
  • Friends

Many people make the mistake of thinking that once they detox, they’re going to be able to stay clean. However, without the proper help of addiction treatment programs, you don’t learn how to manage your triggers and work through your cravings. The reality is that just because you got clean doesn’t mean that triggers aren’t going to happen. Through treatment, you’re going to learn new ways of living by dealing with these triggers in a much healthier way.

Family Relapse Triggers

Some of the most common triggers involve close family members, which can be your parents, spouse, children, or others. This happens because of the strong emotional attachments that you have to these people in your life. Without treatment, something a family member says can initiate some powerful cravings to drink or use. Through treatment, one of the best things you’ll learn is how to set up healthy boundaries with your family.

Boundaries are crucial for anyone who is looking to experience long-term recovery. There’s a lot of guilt and shame that comes along with addiction, but this doesn’t mean that you have to let people walk all over you. Through addiction therapy services for young adults, you’ll learn the value of self-worth and setting up healthy boundaries. By setting boundaries with your family members, you’ll be able to decrease the possibility of experiencing intense cravings in recovery.

Signs of Relapse

Contrary to popular belief, relapse doesn’t happen because you come across triggers of relapse. There are several stages of addiction relapse. These stages include:

  • Emotional relapse: Emotional relapse is the first stage where people start feeling negative emotions. Negative thoughts can be triggered by different things in your environment.
  • Mental relapse: Mental relapse is the second stage of relapse where people start thinking back to the cravings of addiction.
  • Physical relapse: Physical relapse is the last stage of relapse. People start using drugs or alcohol again, which can be deadly in some cases.

The truth is that triggers of relapse can lead to one or all three of these stages. It is vital to learn how to manage the potential triggers with the help of a relapse prevention treatment program.

Changing for Relapse Triggers

In order to stay sober, it’s important to assess your life and make the right changes so you can prevent relapse. Living sober involves switching up how you spend your time, and it may also include learning who your real friends are. Some people make the mistake of going back to bars or hanging out with friends who continue to drink or use. Some of the boundaries that you’re going to have to set are with your friends as well as yourself in order to maintain your recovery.

Seek Treatment at Red Oak Recovery®

Red Oak Recovery® is an addiction treatment program for young adults in Asheville, North Carolina. We’re to help you learn about the root causes of your addiction and how to manage your relapse triggers when you leave. By coming to our facility that’s focused on helping young people, you’ll have peers to help you through treatment. A major part of the recovery process is knowing that you’re not alone in your struggles as well as your successes. Some of the programs we offer here include the following:

  • Trauma treatment
  • Family program
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Adventure therapy
  • Wilderness therapy

Do you have more questions regarding common relapse triggers? Are you ready to receive the help you need for lasting recovery? Learn more about Red Oak Recovery® and our services by calling today at 866.457.7590.