Threats To Substance Abuse Relapse

If you have been in psychotherapy or counseling to help you through substance abuse, you might be curious about potential triggers that could prompt a relapse. The relapse triggers could change many aspects of your life, and some are more personal than others. These are common triggers to look out for.

Immediate Needs

For many people in treatment, there is the idea that you need to examine your feelings of hunger, anger, loneliness, and fatigue to ensure that you are dealing with your immediate needs in a healthy way. Coping with these feelings involves preparing for the future, including preparing for being angry in the future.

Untreated Mental Illness

Mental illness, like anxiety and depression, can trigger substance abuse. Mental health professionals can diagnose you with an issue and help you find treatments and options for coping. Untreated mental illness is especially dangerous for sobriety.

Personal Life Issues

Personal life difficulties can cause some problems. A breakup or toxic friendship are just two examples of ways in which your personal life could encroach upon your sobriety. You may need some help coping with personal life problems that trigger you to feel unhappy and more likely to use a substance.

Romanticizing Past Use

Romanticizing about the past can be difficult for your substance abuse. You can relapse because you are thinking about the past in a positive way that leads you to try to relive those moments in your life. This involves spending time with friends you used to use the substances with.


While it is good to be confident about your sobriety, it is also dangerous to have too much confidence. If you believe that your addiction can no longer get you, you might not be prepared for the potential battle ahead. You must retain a sense of humility about your addiction and know that it can always creep back in.


Celebrations, including weddings and birthdays, can trigger a relapse. These are positive events many people want to revel in, and other people around you may be celebrating with drinks and other substances. You may need to mentally prepare yourself for upcoming celebrations and events to ensure you are healthy enough.

If you notice any of these triggers in your life, bring them up with your therapist. You might be surprised at the kind of triggers that impact your life and change the way you behave and interact with the world.