Color & Control:

3 Steps to Reduce the Chances of Relapse into Addiction

The road to recovery from an addiction is a long one, and it represents one of the toughest battles we can face. The journey can be fraught with difficulties and challenges, but the rewards are immeasurable should you see it through until the end.

However, relapse is a real and present danger. What’s more, with every relapse, recovery becomes even more difficult due to a phenomenon known as the kindling effect.

Read on to find out what the kindling effect is, and check out our three top tips for reducing the chance of relapse.

What is the Kindling Effect?

The kindling effect is a term that refers to the effect the body suffers when people in recovery relapse. With every relapse, recovery becomes more difficult due to a worsening of withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms worsen because the body is already in a state of high sensitivity, with the relapse acting as the ‘kindling’ to fuel the fire. This is perhaps one of the biggest reasons why it’s so important to avoid relapse. Read on to check out our tips for reducing the risk.

Look After Your Mind and Body

Quitting substances won’t immediately make you healthy. You’ll need to actively care for yourself to maintain your physical and mental condition. Being in a poor mental or physical state can often lead to relapse, so it’s important to look after yourself on your road to recovery.

Ensure you eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables and strive to get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. Sleep is important too. Fatigue can impact our mental health and make relapse more of a risk, so make sure you are getting enough good quality sleep every night.

Identify Your Triggers

Often, there can be particular triggers that can impact you and make relapse far more likely. These can include things like stress, anxiety, or low self-esteem. Triggers can even be external. Particular people, places, or even media could remind you of your use and drive you to relapse.

By identifying these triggers, you can take steps to ensure you do not experience or come into contact with them. Better yet, you can examine why these particular triggers affect you and work at rewiring your perception of them and, hopefully, eliminate them as triggers completely.

Have Emergency Contacts

The recovery process can be unpredictable and volatile, particularly in the earlier stages. Sometimes, you will find you do not have the mental strength to cope on your own and will need support from family or friends. Having a list of emergency contacts to hand can give you an accessible support network that you can reach out to when you are in need of help.


Nobody wants to relapse, but unfortunately, it is common for those in recovery. However, there are certain steps you can take to reduce the risk of relapse and ensure you stay on the road to recovery and a better life.

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