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5 Most Common Alcohol Relapse Triggers


Published: March 18, 2022

Recovering from alcoholism is a lifelong journey that requires dedication and hard work. There will be times when you feel like you can take on the world, and there will be other times when you feel like you’re about to relapse. Unfortunately, alcohol relapse is a common problem most recovering alcoholics will face at some point. However, by staying committed to sobriety and being aware of common relapse triggers, you can increase your chances of success.

Recognizing your triggers can assist you in avoiding relapse before it even happens. If you’re unsure what your triggers are, here are some of the most common alcohol relapse triggers to look out for. 

1. Stress

Being under high levels of stress can trigger a relapse for many people. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, your first instinct may be to reach for a drink. However, this is only a temporary solution and will only worsen your problems in the long run.

The best way to deal with stress is to find healthy coping mechanisms. For example, some people like to exercise, others meditate. Find what works for you and set aside time each day to take your mind off of your stressors.

2. Times of Celebration

Celebrating a holiday, birthday, or major accomplishment can be exciting and fun. However, for many people in recovery, these celebrations can also trigger a relapse. 

Drinking alcohol is often a big part of how we celebrate. If you’re struggling with this trigger, try to find alternative ways to celebrate that don’t involve having to drink. This could mean going out to dinner with friends or family, going to a movie, or having a picnic in the park.

3. Negative Emotions

Negative emotions can quickly get in the way of your sobriety. When you’re feeling down, it may be tempting to turn to alcohol as a way to cope.

The key to dealing with negative emotions is to feel them fully and then let them go. Don’t try to numb your feelings with alcohol or other substances. Instead, allow yourself to experience them and then release them.

Letting go of your negative emotions can be tough, but journaling may help. Write down how you’re feeling and address the root of your emotions. Once you’ve acknowledged them, you can start to let go of your negative emotions. Talking to close family and friends can also help manage negative emotions.

4. Boredom

Having an idle mind can be a major trigger for relapse. When you’re bored, your thoughts may start to turn to alcohol, and you may begin to feel the urge to drink. To combat this trigger, it’s important to find things that keep you engaged and occupied. This could include hobbies, creative projects, or anything that requires focus and concentration.

It’s also important to surround yourself with people who support your sobriety and who you enjoy being around. By doing so, you’ll have people to turn to when you’re feeling bored or tempted to drink.

5. Peer Pressure

One of the biggest alcohol triggers is peer pressure. Falling into old patterns and being around people who drink regularly can make it challenging to stay sober. When you surround yourself with people who are drinking, it’s only natural to want to join in.

The best way to deal with peer pressure is to avoid it altogether. This means avoiding places where you know there will be drinking, such as bars or clubs. It also means distancing yourself from people who don’t support your sobriety.

There will be times when you can’t avoid being around people who are drinking. In these situations, it’s crucial to have a plan in place. This could mean being the designated driver or drinking non-alcoholic beverages. If you find yourself in a situation where peer pressure is too much, it’s okay to leave. Saying no to alcohol is always more important than staying in a situation that makes you uncomfortable.

Treat Alcohol Relapse at Rockland Treatment Center

While avoiding these common triggers may be the best solution for staying sober, sometimes it’s not always possible. If you find yourself struggling to stay sober, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. At the Rockland Treatment Center, your recovery is our mission.

With our team of experts and wide range of resources, we’ll help you develop the tools and skills you need to stay sober for life. Contact us today to learn more about how the Rockland Treatment Center may help you achieve sobriety for good.

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