What happens if I relapse?

Addiction relapses do happen, try not to be too hard on yourself, we are only human and all make mistakes at some point if life. The road to recovery is your own journey, you could think of this as an opportunity to grow. After relapsing, you should think about whether you need to come back into rehab. Was this just a ‘slip up’ where you could adjust your recovery plan? Or have you fallen back into the pattern of alcohol or substance abuse? In this case you may need to go back into treatment.

Signs of a relapse:
  • Lack of self-care
  • Impulsivity
  • Dishonesty
  • Unmotivated
  • Change in daily routine
  • Not attending aftercare groups or meetings
  • Old behaviours

There are two different types of triggers. The first one being an internal trigger, this type of trigger comes from within you. This could either be a memory or an emotion you may feel strongly about. The second is an external trigger, which is a trigger from an outside environment. This could be a person or a specific place.

What may have triggered my relapse?

Have you been in any stressful life situations? Are you bored? Are you having relationship issues? Have you been around others who use alcohol or drugs? Have you attended any stressful events?

All of the above could have triggered a relapse, try to recognise those old behaviours and act fast to prevent it from happening again.

How to cope with triggers?
  • Speak to your sponsor or your therapist
  • Attend your local meetings
  • Attend aftercare/outpatient rehab services
  • Exercise regularly
  • Mindfulness and meditation
  • Breathing exercises
  • Take yourself out of situation you do not feel comfortable with
  • Set healthy boundaries


At Steps Together, our extensive range of professional outpatient services can help you, your loved one, or colleague secure long term recovery without the need for a residential treatment programme.
If you’d like more information about our aftercare and outpatient services please click here or call 0330 175 7031 to speak to one of our friendly treatment advisers today.