A study from Marquette University pointed out that stress rendered people in recovery more vulnerable to other relapse triggers. Researchers followed the cocaine use patterns of stressed and unstressed rats and used a low dose of cocaine https://ecosoberhouse.com/ as a trigger. The stressed rats’ responses to the trigger mirrored those of people during relapse. Patients in rehab may consider skipping treatment sessions or support group meetings to spend time with their friends and family.
Visiting these places can be triggering for many people, and while many times they can be avoided, there are situations in which they can’t. The solution to overcoming this relapse trigger is to learn how to channel your positive feelings in a positive way, without the use of substance abuse. Believe it or not, some of the closest people to you can trigger a relapse. While it is difficult to step away from friends, family, and loved ones; sometimes, you may have to keep them at an arm’s length. In the process, you will be able to better maintain your abstinence and find it easier for you to recover.
The first step to managing triggers is to mindfully note when you are triggered. Sometimes the trigger can induce a subtle passing negative thought internal triggers that takes root and grows in your mind, such as self-pity or resentment. You cannot manage triggers if you do not know you are being triggered.
When you understand that you’re not alone in facing adversity in your addiction, you understand coping mechanisms. Some of the physical triggers that individuals face that are known as external triggers are normally encountered physically. However, this doesn’t always mean that it involves specifically using substances. Triggers for relapse can be internal, external, and/or a combination of both internal and external triggers. Part of catching those triggers is the awareness of your thoughts.
Substance Use: Identifying Triggers and Overcoming Cravings
According to Psychology Today, stress is a key risk factor in addiction and relapse.2 This is something that researchers have long known to be true. When it comes to addiction recovery, things like stressful life events combined with a lack of coping skills can create the perfect storm for a relapse. An internal trigger is something going on inside our minds or bodies that promotes the urge to relapse. Whereas external triggers are defined as people, places and things; internal triggers generally fall under hunger, anger, loneliness or fatigue. People may be one of the more easily-avoided external triggers, mainly if they are people that used to be involved in substance use with the individual.
- Like Pavlov’s dogs, which learned to salivate when they heard a bell ringing, people with addiction learn to crave drugs as a response to certain situations.
- A tool that people use is known as HALT, which reminds us to ask ourselves is feeling hungry, lonely, angry, or tired.
- Some people won’t understand the importance of living sober, regardless.
- These practices will allow the individual to focus and keep their mindset on the present moment.
- We propose you take a moment to learn about how addictive triggers can impact your life.
- Examples of internal and external triggers, and their impacts.
It’s understandable to be concerned about relapse after completing a substance abuse treatment program. Triggers may seem to be everywhere, and you might want to isolate yourself to avoid them. If you do relapse because of your triggers, using substances can be deadly. You might go straight to the dose that you’re accustomed to, but your body can no longer handle the same levels of drugs. We specialize in providing compassionate and highly individualized substance abuse treatment that is evidence-based and outcome-driven. It will be essential to ensure that you aren’t handling more than you can manage and have backup plans for overwhelming times. Lastly, you must hold yourself accountable to these guidelines, be kind to yourself, respect yourself, and know your limits.
Recognize the H.A.L.T. Symptoms
These triggers may involve people who influence cravings, such as drug dealers, coworkers, friends, spouses, partners and employers. Even people who are incredibly close to you may act as relapse triggers. That’s one reason that it’s so important for your loved ones to be on board with your recovery. Every individual in recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction needs to work each day to keep their sobriety.
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Aftercare resources such as 12-step groups, sober living homes and support for family and friends promote a life rich with rewarding relationships and meaning. Treating these co-occurring disorders alongside your addiction will increase your ability to maintain long-term sobriety. Fear, guilt, shame, anger and depression are common internal triggers. If you feel criticized or belittled, you might want to turn to substances to numb those feelings or push them aside. Triggers for relapse are situations that remind individuals of their drug use. Triggers are psychological, emotional, social and situational cues that can induce cravings.