Addiction is a tough battle, and many people often find themselves relapsing despite their best efforts. It’s frustrating to see all your hard work go down the drain, but it’s essential to understand why you keep falling back into old habits.

In this blog post, we’ll explore what causes relapse and provide some practical tips for preventing it from happening again. Whether you’re struggling with drug addiction or trying to quit smoking, these insights will help you stay on track towards a healthier lifestyle. 

What Is A Relapse? And What Types Are There?

A relapse is a return to substance use after a period of recovery. It can happen to anyone, regardless of how long they’ve been sober or how much progress they have made in their recovery journey. Relapses often occur when people let down their guard and become complacent with their sobriety.

There are different types of relapses, including emotional, mental, physical, and social relapse. 

Emotional relapses occur when someone experiences negative emotions that trigger a desire to use drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism. These overwhelming emotions can include anger, anxiety or depression. 

Mental relapses involve thoughts about using drugs or alcohol again. During this type of relapse, individuals may begin thinking about the positive aspects of their past drug or alcohol use and romanticize it.

Physical relapses refer to actually using drugs or alcohol again after abstaining for a period of time. This is typically the most obvious type of relapse but usually follows an emotional or mental one.

Relapsing doesn’t mean that you have failed at your attempts towards sobriety, it just means that you need more support and guidance along the way. Many people struggle with addiction throughout their entire lives but continue fighting every day to remain sober.

Preventing a potential relapse requires identifying triggers— things in an individual’s life that could cause them to want to use again— and developing strategies for coping with those triggers without turning back to drugs or alcohol.

It’s important to recognize that each type of relapse requires unique approaches for prevention and treatment. By understanding the different types, individuals can better equip themselves with strategies for avoiding them altogether.

Why Do People Relapse?

Relapse is more common than you think and it can happen to anyone. It’s not a sign of weakness or failure, but rather a normal part of the recovery process. However, understanding why people relapse can help prevent it from happening again.

One reason people relapse is due to triggers that remind them of their addiction. These triggers could be emotional, environmental or social cues like seeing friends who still use drugs or alcohol.

Another factor is stress— when life gets overwhelming and stressful, it’s easy to turn back to old habits as a way of coping.

A lack of support can also contribute to a relapse. Without proper support from family, friends or healthcare professionals, it’s difficult for individuals in recovery to stay on track and resist temptation.

Some may struggle with underlying mental health issues like depression or anxiety which could lead them back into addictive behaviors as they try to self-medicate their symptoms.

It’s important for those in recovery to be aware of these factors and seek out resources such as counseling and group therapy sessions which can provide additional support throughout the journey towards sobriety.

How To Prevent A Relapse

Here are some proven ways that can help you stay on track and avoid falling back into old habits:

First, it’s important to identify your triggers. Triggers are anything that causes you to crave your addictive behavior or substance abuse. Once you know what they are, you can start avoiding them or finding healthier alternatives.

Second, build a support system around yourself. This could include friends, family members or even professional help like therapists or support groups. Having people who understand and encourage your recovery journey can make all the difference in preventing a relapse.

Third, practice self care regularly. Taking care of yourself physically and mentally will make you less vulnerable to stressors which could lead to relapses.

Finally, keep track of your progress by setting goals for yourself and tracking how well you’re doing over time. Celebrate each milestone achieved as this helps boost confidence levels while keeping addiction at bay.

Remember that prevention is always better than cure when it comes to addiction recovery.

There Is Hope If You Relapse

Relapsing can feel like the end of the world. It’s a frustrating setback that can make people feel hopeless and defeated. But despite how it may seem, there is hope when you relapse.

It’s important to remind yourself that setbacks happen. Recovery is not always a linear process and sometimes we take two steps forward and one step back. Remember to be kind to yourself during this time, acknowledge your struggles and try not to beat yourself up for slipping up.

Use your relapse as an opportunity for self-reflection. Identify what triggered you or led you down the path towards relapse so that you can develop strategies on how to avoid those triggers in the future.

Reach out for support from loved ones or professionals who understand what you’re going through. You don’t have to go through this alone.


Keep moving forward with your recovery journey by focusing on progress rather than perfection. Every day is a new chance to start fresh and work towards achieving your goals.


Remember— just because you’ve relapsed doesn’t mean all hope is lost. With determination, self-compassion and support from others, recovery is still possible.

Having A Drug Or Alcohol Relapse? We Can Help

To conclude, relapse is a common experience for those who are on the path to recovery. It can be discouraging and frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be viewed as a failure. By understanding what triggers your relapses and developing strategies to prevent them, you can continue moving forward towards your goals.Remember that there is no shame in asking for help if you do experience a relapse. 


If you need help, you can always call us. We can be reached at (888) 985-2207. Recovery is a journey with ups and downs, but each setback provides an opportunity for growth and learning. 

Staff Spotlight

  • years in the field

Have Questions?
Ask Our Expert Doctors.

Drug, Alcohol & Mental Health Questions Answered by the Doctors at JourneyPure.

What Happens Now?

  • Getting help is as easy as picking up the phone.
  • We will answer all your questions and provide an assessment.
  • We will help arrange for you to come to the program and begin recovery.