Avoiding Relapse in a Crisis

Relapse can happen to anyone in recovery from drugs or alcohol. A crisis point can be just the trigger a person does not need which escalates into relapse. Learn more about what triggers relapse and some tips to help avoid the worst case scenario when crisis occurs.


There are a few situations in life that are crisis points which can trigger a relapse for individuals. Significant life events happen to everyone but it depends on how a person responds what will happen next. An individual in recovery, especially the first year, is particularly at risk of relapse. Learning how to cope with these situations is the key to getting past a crisis without relapse. Some potential triggers may include:

  • Loss of a loved one
  • Divorce
  • Unemployment or job crisis
  • Chronic illness or serious accident

5 Tips to Avoid Relapse

Some of the following tips can be helpful to an individual in recovery who is worried about relapse. Crises can happen to anyone, it is best to build up defenses when times are good so when a rough patch comes, it does not throw sobriety and recovery into a tailspin. Here are five tips to get started:

Strengthen Recovery Effort

Venting in therapy is a good thing. Support groups can provide personal support as well to get out all the stress life throws at a person. Stressors can create instability in recovery. Make sure to have enough therapy sessions planned to help work through issues as they arise.

Call on Friends and Family

People who can be trusted are the best resources for dealing with crisis. It can be difficult but any time struggles pop up, reach out and touch someone. Pick up a phone, send an email or text or pop into the friend’s home. Don’t be afraid to call on people for support.

Take a Breather

Stop. Freeze. Take a breath. Do not turn to alcohol or drugs the first time crisis hits. As tempting as it may be, this only leads down the wrong road. Promise to wait 10 minutes. Anybody can do anything for 10 minutes. Use the 10 minutes to meditate, do yoga, watch a funny show or call a friend. Reset the mind and the body will follow.

Focus on Positive Changes

True crisis has elements of life that nobody can control. While it may be difficult to handle emotionally, it helps to focus first on things within a person’s control. Rather than feel immobilized, get focused on the tangible next steps to get closer to the goal such as making a to-do list, walking the dog and practicing meditation.

Practice Gratitude

Thinking about what to be grateful for can help when a person wants to overlook health of the self or loved ones. A pet, job or roof over the head are marvelous but taking time to actually be thankful for those things is quite another. Knowing it is half the battle, the other half is giving up thanks for good things when times are tough.

Don’t wait until things go from bad to worse. Call The Villa. Let us help support you through crisis and get back on track in your recovery.