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Top 5 Triggers for Relapse

At Boardwalk Recovery in sunny San Diego, CA, our mission is to illuminate the path to lasting sobriety. Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to understanding and overcoming the triggers that could lead to relapse. Let’s delve into the details of the five primary triggers and equip you with strategies to fortify your journey to recovery.

1. Stress: The Invisible Adversary

Stress is often an insidious trigger, creeping into your life and challenging your sobriety when you least expect it.

  • Recognize Stress: Understand your unique stress indicators—tightness in your chest, irritability, or fatigue.
  • Stress-Busting Techniques: Incorporate a variety of stress-relief methods, including deep-breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, or yoga.
  • Build a Support Network: Forge connections with peers or a mentor from support groups who can lend an ear or offer advice during stressful times.

2. Old Habits and Haunts: Steering Clear of the Past

Past associations with people, places, and routines can act as powerful cues that trigger cravings.

  • Set Firm Boundaries: It’s essential to communicate your needs and limits to others.
  • Redefine Your Social Life: Explore new hobbies or join clubs that align with your new lifestyle.
  • Choose Your Company Wisely: Foster friendships with those who support your recovery and understand your journey.

3. The Emotional Rollercoaster: Riding the Waves

Highs and lows are a natural part of life, but for someone in recovery, they can be particularly challenging.

  • Emotional Literacy: Learn to name and recognize your emotions accurately.
  • Healthy Outlets: Channel your emotions into creative endeavors like art, music, or writing.
  • Therapeutic Interventions: Engage in therapy sessions to develop emotional resilience and coping skills.

4. Festivities and Peer Influence: Celebrate with Caution

Social gatherings can present a minefield of triggers, especially if alcohol or drugs are present.

  • Pre-Event Planning: Arm yourself with a non-alcoholic drink and rehearse firm yet polite ways to decline offers of substances.
  • Sober Companionship: Attend events with a friend who is aware of your recovery goals and can offer immediate support.

5. The Snare of Complacency: Staying Vigilant

After a period of successful recovery, it’s easy to become overconfident and less vigilant about your triggers.

  • Continued Education: Keep learning about addiction and recovery to stay motivated.
  • Active Participation: Remain actively involved in the recovery community to keep your commitment to sobriety at the forefront of your mind.

Your Journey with Boardwalk Recovery

Remember, recovery is not just a destination—it’s a continuous journey. Boardwalk Recovery is here to support you with tailored alcohol and drug rehab programs that understand the nuances of these triggers. Our compassionate team in San Diego, CA, is dedicated to providing you with the strategies and support needed to navigate the recovery landscape.

Ready to Reaffirm Your Sobriety?

Take the next step. Contact Boardwalk Recovery today and let us empower you with the tools for a resilient and sober tomorrow.


Relapse is often triggered by various factors, including stress, reminders of past substance use, emotional upheaval, social pressures, and complacency in recovery.

Stress can be managed through relaxation techniques, regular physical activity, maintaining a balanced diet, adequate sleep, and by seeking support from your network or professionals.

You don’t have to cut off everyone, but you should evaluate relationships and environments based on whether they support your recovery goals.

Acknowledge your feelings, practice self-care, and seek help from a counselor or support group when you’re dealing with difficult emotions.

Stay connected with our community, participate in ongoing therapy sessions, and engage in the enriching activities we offer. Our team is here to provide continuous support and motivation.

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