Summer Relapse Triggers and How to Avoid Them

Daybreak Treatment Solutions Summer Relapse Triggers and How to Avoid Them

The Risk of Summertime Relapse

The summer months can be harder for people newly out of drug and alcohol addiction rehab. Triggers can be heightened during this time and make avoiding relapse harder. Summer relapse triggers include beach parties, barbecues, sporting events, and outdoor concerts to name a few that can make it hard to stay clear of drugs and alcohol. There are also several holidays like the Fourth of July and Memorial Day during the summer months which are often celebrated around alcohol and maybe drugs too.

All of this can be difficult to navigate sober, especially if it’s your first summer in recovery. Because there is so much substance use around the summertime, it can leave many in recovery feeling isolated or left out. A good recovery program should include relapse prevention programs, and it’s important to think ahead and be prepared so you can successfully navigate triggers in the real world.

How To Identify Your Triggers

During alcohol rehab or drug rehab, you probably created a relapse prevention plan. Every person with substance abuse disorder has their own set of common relapse triggers. Identifying yours starts with knowing yourself and knowing the symptoms. Triggers are feelings, memories, or thoughts that remind you of your substance abuse. These drug and alcohol addiction triggers activate the parts of your brain that lead to the desire to use drugs and alcohol. There are several types of symptoms that are brought on by triggers and are broken down into the following categories:

Physical Symptoms

Physical symptoms may include a nervous feeling throughout your body and/or tightness in your stomach.

Psychological Symptoms

Psychological symptoms include increasing thoughts of how good you would feel from using a drug or alcohol, remembering the times you used in the past, feeling you need these substances, and planning how you would go about getting these substances.

How To Avoid Relapsing This Summer

It is important to be aware of triggers and do your best to avoid them to avoid relapse this summer, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fun this summer. There are several strategies, along with planning, that can help you enjoy a sober summer and avoid relapsing. Some ideas for avoiding common relapse triggers this summer include:

Start a Project

You can try taking a class in the summer months you have been interested in or starting a new workout regimen. Keeping yourself busy and focusing on your accomplishments can improve your self-esteem and keep your mind off a drug or alcohol while improving yourself.


Giving back to your community and people in need is a great way to boost your self-worth and your mood. It can help you focus on how fortunate you are to be free of substance abuse while helping other people’s lives.

Connect with Sober Friends

Surrounding yourself with friends who are also on a sobriety journey can help you stay focused and motivated on your own road to recovery. You can plan to attend sober events, grab a bite to eat, or plan a weekend outing. Spending time relaxing with people who do not use drugs or alcohol can help you relax and avoid temptation. Surround yourself with people you can also talk to about their relapse prevention plans.

Take a Sober Trip

If you do not have sober friends or family you feel comfortable traveling with, there are several companies that exist that help you plan a recovery-oriented vacation so you can surround yourself with sober people. Some vacations available include a sober cruise or tour groups made up of others in addiction treatment.

Relapse Prevention Resources at DayBreak

Relapse prevention is maybe the most important part of long-term recovery. Preventing relapse can be especially challenging in the first few weeks or months of recovery from drugs and alcohol. Summertime may come with common relapse triggers and temptation, but you can have a plan to help you keep on your journey.

If you or someone you love is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction or is worried about relapsing this summer, DayBreak Treatment Solutions can help you. Whether it is your first attempt in drug or alcohol addiction rehab or your tenth, DayBreak can provide the tools and resources for relapse prevention, judgment-free. We have a recovery program and levels of care to fit every recovery journey, including cognitive behavioral therapy and dual diagnosis treatment. Please give us a call if you would like to talk to one of our addiction specialists about preventing relapse this summer, especially if you are part of our alumni program.