1. Health

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:


was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

Most Emailed Articles

Financial Stress

Readers Respond: What are your biggest relapse triggers and how do you deal with them?

Responses: 142


Updated October 09, 2014

Be there done that...

For 15 years I tried to get sober and throughout those years various triggers would lead me out. Before this last "episode" it was/is anger, especially towards my husband a practicing, though highly functioning, alcoholic - the old "I'll show you! I'll get back at you... by drinking." Talk about insanity. Today I have 3.5 years of continuous sobriety and when I feel that anger rising within me, I simply remove myself from whatever situation I am in that is causing that emotion. Then, and most important, I play the memory tape of my last drunk to the end - to that last withdrawal from hell. I remind myself that there is no situation or feeling ever made better by picking up a drink. None whatsoever. I then say a prayer of thanks and gratitude to my Higher Power for helping me stay sober... just for today.
—Guest GuestBB

I understand...

I am early in my sobriety, and still struggling. What I do know though is, being a drunk is not my "lot in life." While I certainly do not have all the answers, I can tell you I have seen, and met, and now know many happy, joyous and wonderful sober people in "the program." I can chalk up my relapses to "whatever," but the truth is, if I pick up that phone to another recovering alcoholics BEFORE i pick up the drink, I will not drink. This is NOT a death sentence. The tools are in front of us. The hard part (to me,) is actually doing the work. The work that is more than "going to meetings." Which, by the way, I find PEACE, and caring, and support in those rooms. This in no way has to be our "lot in life." A better and happier life awaits us, if we want it bad enough (and from what I have seen and learned so far, it isn't that hard, we just have to do our small part of the work.) It is possible, if we really do want it. I wish you all well, as it is possible. Love.
—Guest mj

Greatful I'm alive

I am 38 and have been a lush, for about 22 years. and I have come to realize, every thing is a trigger. I drink for fun, I drink when sad, angry and so on.... I have about 40 hours sober. Thanks for letting me vent.
—Guest BOB


Because of all the psychological damage from using, I myself am a trigger and can create relapse without any out side help.
—Guest johnny

Normal Person

What triggers a drink for me is wanting to be a "normal" person. Everyone one else can drink (including family members), why can't I? The word Alcoholic has negative connotations for me (childhood issues?), so I have a really serious allergy to alcohol!
—Guest kittyfish


WHY? My favorite shows depict people drinking so often. Always in a positive, oh so fun setting. I'm trying to quit/cut down. I know it's a cop out. I just can't handle the withdrawal shaking and twitching. These prime time shows make me crave vodka. I can't believe how much these visuals effect me. Is this normal?
—Guest marybeth


Messy house, not enough money to pay all the bills, boredom, feelings of not being whole when I'm sober. Wanting to forget and be free of how I feel when I am sober. Having to do things I don't want to do and knowing if I use I'll probally have fun doing the mundane things I usually don't have the energy or interest in but I know they have to get done.
—Guest Lucy


I have been struggling trying to get sober after a major relapse and more law problems. I have to make a stand and must do this for me first and foremost. Stress etc cause my triggers and I too, like Luke, the AA meetings i went to would trigger me to go buy a bottle right after the meeting. This is an "I need to do this for me program" since my life is unmanageable and in chaos over alcohol.
—Guest destiny

Just want to feel normal

Sometimes I feel so expose so naked to the world and lonely and alcohol blinds my emotions, numbness. I do embarrassing things. No more self-imposed poisonings, we all deserve more than that.
—Guest Custer

What isn't a trigger?

All or any excuse will work for me, I use to say it joking, but it's no longer a joke, I thought I was maybe just a problem drinker, I realize now that I am a 37 year old man who has been lying to himself for 18 years just so he doesn't have to give up his bottle buddy, and like when you break up with a girlfriend, everything reminds you of "her" from a song on the radio to your favorite hang out, I threw in the towel 6 days ago after my real girlfriend of 5 years packed up the kids and left, not for good thank God, but after our I don't how many fights about my drinking, she had to "get away from it for awhile" leaving me to face the reality of my drinking, I haven't touched a drop since, but I know that in time I will if I don't get help, tommorow is my first AA meeting that I will be attending on my own free will (not court ordered) I already found a sponsor, I put my family and friends on sober watch, and I've stopped lying to myself, I'm breaking up with the bottle buddy for good
—Guest drunken dragon

Triggers for Alcoholics

This is a helpful site for me right now. My triggers have been stress, too much work to do, money issues and a series of deaths in the family one after another. I simply couldn't keep up so I drank to numb the pain. Pretty soon it consumed me. I go from drinking nothing to binging which is hell on your system. Then the guilt triggers me even more. It's a cycle of insanity doing the same crap over and over thinking it'll be different. It only gets worse. I'm gonna start working out hard again and get the high I used to get from exercise. Alcohol is expensive, I don't smoke or do other drugs so there's no other stress reliever for me now than working out. I need to stick to it this time instead of being stupid.
—Guest MadAtMyself

Husband out of rehab 10 days

His dad purposely wants him to start drinking again so he has his bar pal back and that's what made him relapse. Great father! He also wanted us to get a divorce and knew this would do it. We are currently separated. It's nice to know someone's father would put his own son's health in jeopardy to tear a family apart for his own selfish needs.
—Guest leannie

Re : Letting Wine Use Me

Thank you to the author. Indeed, I believe that when inner strength is called for, it's great to find another source. I came to hate smoking in order to kick it, now I ask myself why I never turned on this switch to hate what wine does to me. Thanks again.

To Carol, hungry, angry lonely

I am praying for you because I have been at that same hotel called HALT. Please check out and check into hotel WE ARE FAMILY. Keep checking with us to get strength. All of us are fighting for freedom from addiction. If it helps, use these emotions. I once got dressed up to go to 7-11. There was a man that told me I looked beautiful, it made my day. I was angry, so I took a kick boxing class. Couldn't walk the next day, but couldn't drink either. Lonely, went to tell all the animals I loved them. Tired, go into the bathroom, close my eyes and picture myself resting on the beach in Hawaii. Please remember alcohol just strengthens these emotions. Alcohol increases my fears. Feeling ,emotions, are not real. Love to all Carols out there, thank you for helping me keep sober.
—Guest star

Betrayal = Relapse

I really believe that when someone close to you betra's you it is very hurtful and could easily trigger a relapse. I have had someone betray me and I nearly picked up a drink after over four years of proudly being sober.
—Guest Craig
  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Alcoholism
  4. How to Stop
  5. Relapse Prevention
  6. What Are Your Biggest Relapse Triggers and how Do You Deal with Them?

©2015 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.