Why Do Addicts Relapse When Things Are Good?

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Addiction is a relapsing disease that affects many people from all walks of life. Healing from addiction is an ongoing process, and relapse is a common challenge. Even after prolonged periods of sobriety, many addicts experience relapses, often when things appear to be going well.

By understanding the factors contributing to relapse and developing healthy coping mechanisms, recovering addicts can maintain sobriety and live fulfilling lives. It’s essential to remember that relapse is not a failure but rather a setback that can be overcome with perseverance and support.

But the question remains, “Why do addicts relapse when things are good?” Don’t worry; the Launch centers have got you covered!

In this article, you will learn the reasons why addicts may relapse, even when their lives seem to be on track. Let’s start reading!

Sober Living 

Although not every candidate will qualify, it is a fantastic alternative after treatment. Coming back home in the same setting is rarely a wise course of action. One of the most important causes of relapse for addicts is their return home. In the first and most vulnerable phases of recovery, sober living enables persons in recovery to be held accountable and maintain connections with a recovering community.

sober living

What is Addicts Relapse?

Addicts relapse means a return to drug or alcohol use after sobriety. It is a common occurrence for people recovering from addiction. You know, addiction is a chronic disease that requires ongoing management and care. Many factors can contribute to addiction recovery.

It is important to address underlying issues. It is also necessary to develop healthy coping mechanisms to prevent relapse. This will help to maintain long-term sobriety. Seeking professional help and building a support network can also be effective strategies for preventing relapse.

Why Do Addicts Relapse When Things Are Good?

The two most typical causes of relapse for addicts when things are going well are 1) the fear of success and 2) the conviction that the symptoms caused the issue. Alcoholics and addicts frequently suffer dual dread of achievement and failure. Many drug users also struggle with poor self-esteem and rejection worries.


Some outcomes are people-pleasing actions and an unwillingness to let people in close. Some alcoholics and addicts think they are undeserving of love, intimacy, or remarkable experiences that result in success or consequences. The fear of failing or rejection results from how much they hate their uncomfortable sensations. As a result, individuals make an effort to prevent any failure that would serve to confirm these negative thoughts. 

Factors That Contribute to Addiction Relapse:

Various factors can trigger a relapse. These are complacency, stress and anxiety, overconfidence, boredom, peer pressure, environmental cues, and personal issues. Let’s discuss each factor in-depth so you can better understand the influence of each element.


Recovering addicts who become complacent in their recovery may stop doing the things that kept them sober, such as attending meetings or therapy sessions. This can leave them vulnerable to a relapse.

Stress and Anxiety 

Stress and anxiety can be significant triggers for addiction relapse. When an addict feels like they can’t cope with their emotions, they may turn to drugs or alcohol for relief, leading to an addict relapsing.


Some recovering addicts may feel overconfident in resisting cravings and temptation, leading them to let their guard down. This overconfidence can lead them to stop doing the things that helped them maintain sobriety. 


When a recovering addict does not have a purpose or engaging activities, it can be easy to fall back into old behavior patterns. To prevent addiction relapse due to boredom, finding fulfilling activities that provide a sense of purpose, joy, or challenge is crucial.


Peer Pressure 

Being around friends or acquaintances who use drugs or alcohol can significantly trigger a relapse. Building a new social support network that supports sobriety is essential in reducing the risk of addiction relapse.

Environmental Cues

Environmental cues refer to the environmental factors that trigger memories associated with drug or alcohol use. These can include the sights, sounds, or smells that remind recovering addicts of their past substance abuse or drug addiction.

Personal Issues

Personal issues can include a range of emotional or psychological challenges. When these issues are left unaddressed, they can create a sense of emotional distress, leading to a desire to numb these feelings with drugs or alcohol.

The Importance of Addressing Underlying Issues

Addiction is often more than just a physical dependence on drugs or alcohol. It can also be a symptom of underlying emotional or psychological issues that must be addressed for long-term recovery. Without addressing these issues, recovering addicts may be at risk of relapse.

Mental Health Disorders 

Co-occurring mental health disorders can make addiction relapse more likely. It’s crucial to address these issues as part of the recovery process.

Emotional Trauma

Many addicts struggle with unresolved emotional trauma that can make a recovery challenging. It can be difficult to maintain sobriety without addressing these underlying issues.

Chronic Pain and Other Physical Ailments

Chronic pain can lead to the misuse of prescription painkillers, eventually leading to addiction. Managing chronic pain appropriately is critical to avoiding relapse.

Strategies for Maintaining Sobriety

Maintaining sobriety after addiction recovery can be challenging. It requires various strategies to help recovering addicts stay on track and avoid relapse. By implementing the right strategy and being mindful of potential triggers, recovering addicts can achieve long-term sobriety.

Staying Mindful of Triggers

Being aware of triggers and developing healthy coping mechanisms can help prevent addiction relapse. This involves learning how to manage stress and other emotions without turning to drugs or alcohol.

Engaging in Healthy Activities

Engaging in healthy and fulfilling activities, such as exercise, hobbies, or volunteer work, can help prevent boredom and keep the mind focused on positive goals.

Building a Support Network

Recovering addicts can benefit from the support of peers, friends, and family members who understand addiction and recovery. Building a network of supportive people can help prevent relapse.

Continuing Treatment and Therapy

Even after achieving sobriety, continuing treatment and therapy can help prevent relapse. Therapy can help address underlying issues and provide support during challenging times.

Creating a Relapse Prevention Plan

Creating a plan for handling potential triggers and stressful situations can help prevent relapse. The plan should include coping strategies, emergency contacts, and steps to take if a deterioration does occur.

Experience Lasting Sober Living with Launch Centers

Addiction is a complicated disease that can influence every aspect of a person’s life, from physical health to emotional well-being and relationships. If you or someone you know is stumbling with addiction, seeking professional help is the first step toward recovery.

Sobriety is a gift that you give to yourself!

Do you need personalized treatment plans for addiction recovery?

Launch Centers offer to help those struggling with addiction achieve lasting sobriety in Los Angeles, California. We prioritize connectedness and purposefulness to support our clients in achieving long-term recovery. With the proper guidance, a healthy, fulfilling life in sobriety is within reach. If you or a loved one is battling addiction, we urge you to reach out to us and explore our program to find out how we can assist you.

About Our Founder

Jose Hernandez, for over a decade, has been involved in alcohol and addiction recovery helping people succeed in overcoming substance abuse and regaining control of their lives. He has experience in all aspects of the recovery world, from facilitating entry into treatment as an intervention specialist to counseling and case management at rehabilitation facilities. Jose has worked one-on-one with individuals as a sober companion and with groups as a resident counselor at addiction treatment centers and is certified by the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC) to practice as a substance abuse counselor.

Through his professional experiences in crisis intervention, drug and alcohol detoxification, substance abuse counseling, and relapse prevention, Jose has developed a unique plan for case management that bridges the gap between a person’s painful past of substance abuse and a future of sobriety.

At Riviera Recovery, a sober living facility with multiple locations, clients continue their transition from the supportive environment of a treatment center to living well and happily in the “real” world. The program he designed at Riviera Recovery personalizes treatment plans that enable clients, including those with a single or dual-diagnosed mental health disorder, to embrace a satisfying life.

His greatest endeavor has been establishing LAUNCH, a Los Angeles-based life skills intensive outpatient program for young adults. LAUNCH works with recovering men and women to establish personal vocational and educational goals and develop the tools to successfully meet them. His mission is to ensure that no one stands alone in his or her recovery.

Meet Our Clinical Team

staff member drug alcohol treatment los angeles

Jess Beck, LCSW

Clinical Director

treatment team los angeles ca

Eric Chaghouri, MD


chloe kruskol los angeles rehab team

Chloe Kruskol, LCSW

Family Program Manager

Our Testimonials

Clients and Professionals Share Their Experience

  • HO

    Launch provided care on multiple levels. The highly skilled therapist coupled with the focus on purpose and long-term goals refocused my recovery from what previous treatment centers pushed onto me. I went from believing that I needed years of treatment to believing I needed years happiness and success. I began to focus on what I wanted to accomplish with my life. I came to realize all the things my addiction and mental illness had taken from me, and I used my future goals as a reason to never pick up again. Due to the passion that Launch instilled in me, I have pursued my future with excitement and dedication.

  • Nicole

    This place changed my life! I’ve had good laughs, good cries, shared a lot of heart to heart moments and grew a loving bond with everyone at Launch Centers. I will always be grateful!!! I really do miss it time to time. I highly recommend Launch Centers!

  • Joey

    The staff and clinicians are amazing and make you feel right at home from the second you walk in the door. I would absolutely recommend this place for a family member or close friend.

  • Ben

    This treatment facility has changed my life. I have always struggled with my mental health and this young adult program provided me with the necessary skills to launch to adulthood. I commend anyone who struggles with mental health or substance use (which was not me) to try this program out. It will change your life.

  • Conner

    Launch Centers Treatment was a major help to me. The therapists and staff genuinely cared about me and truly helped me to make a plan for my future. My personal therapists helped me to discover where some of my deeper issues came from. All of the staff worked tirelessly with me to talk through my issues, or just about life, and offered realistic solutions to my current problems and situation. All of the staff went above and beyond and advocated relentlessly for me. I am very grateful that I was able to have such a wonderful experience with Launch.

  • Adam

    In no uncertain terms Launch Centers changed my life. The staff at Launch are professional, knowledgable and relatable. They keep the format diverse and interesting which kept me engaged in the process. The greatest thing we can do in life is seek to improve ourselves. Launch gave me a skill set I consider to be invaluable in the journey of becoming the best version of myself. I would implore anybody considering Launch to step outside their comfort zone and go, you will not regret it.


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