Relapse Triggers for Teens

There are many common relapse triggers for teens and young people who are new in recovery. For loved ones and family members, it can be very difficult to comprehend what runs through a teenagers mind when they have worked so hard for their sobriety only to relapse.

But that is the power of the disease of alcoholism. Many studies even show that 7 out of 10 young people in recovery will relapse within their first five years of sobriety, most of which will continue to relapse many times. The triggers which can instigate this type of behavior can be as small and menial as hearing a certain song on the radio to as significant as hanging out with the wrong people.

Though relapse is often viewed as ‘normal’ or common behavior for young people in recovery, knowing common relapse triggers for teens and having a plan of action can help addicts and their loved ones keep their guard up.

[su_box title=”Common Relapse Triggers for Teens” style=”glass” box_color=”#223a7b”][su_list icon=”icon: circle” icon_color=”#424242″]

• Being in social situations or places where drugs are available
• Being socially isolated
• Being around drugs or using any mood-altering substance
• Stress
• Over-confidence
• Complacency
• Mental or physical illness or pain
• Reminiscing about drug use or telling “war stories”
• Boredom
• Self-pity [/su_list][/su_box]

Preventing Relapse


A relapse does not mean that the teenager has failed or that their time spent in rehab was a waste of time and money for their parents. Relapse is now considered as an invaluable learning experience and can often times bring young people to a greater understanding of long-term recovery.

Constant or consistent stress can directly correlate with higher rates of relapse. When teens feel like they are losing control of their life they will often tend to revert to old coping mechanisms and behaviors.

[su_box title=”What can parents do to prevent relapse?” style=”glass” box_color=”#5b87ff”][su_list icon=”icon: stop” icon_color=”#424242″] • Be sure to remove all drugs and alcohol from your house. Lock up anything that must be kept.

• Be sure to congratulate and offer encouragement when your teen actively participates in their own recovery by attending 12 step meetings, going to counseling or therapy sessions or gets through difficult situations without using.

• Be sure to support your teen if they do relapse and help get them back into treatment rather than placing blame and avoid enabling them by making excuses for them.

• Try getting your teen involved in new hobbies or activities that appeal to them with new crowds of drug-free friends.

• Have frank conversations about feelings to help either of you sense a threat of relapse.

• Make sure your teen is not stressed!

• Take care of you and other loved ones who may be affected by attending an Al-Anon meeting. [/su_list][/su_box]

Although teens in early recovery may relapse, substance abuse treatment helps them get back on track before they make a full return to their old drug-abusing lifestyle.

  • Mardi
    Posted at 08:28h, 16 August Reply

    Thanks for the great article. I will be sharing it…

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