What Are Relapse Triggers: Internal Vs External Relapse Triggers

One such neurotransmitter, dopamine, reinforces the connection between drug use, pleasure, and any external triggers that remind the user of the substance. Over time, these dopamine surges teach the brain to seek the drug or alcohol any time the user encounters a trigger. Old friends may be an external trigger if you used to engage in substance abuse with them. Meeting old friends may cause you to reminisce about old times, romanticizing alcohol or drug addiction. But there are typically two kinds of friends who may be external triggers for drug or alcohol use. Numerous studies have shown that mind-body relaxation reduces the use of drugs and alcohol and is effective in long-term relapse prevention [28,29].

  • But external triggers can become internal triggers if they bring up experiences you haven’t processed.
  • However, at this time, breathalyzers are only able to detect alcohol, so they may not provide deterrence against relapse on other substances unless combined with random urine drug screens.
  • Once a person has experienced addiction, it is impossible to erase the memory.
  • Another form of relapse is a “lapse.” A person lapsing may have one or two drinks then return to sobriety.
  • It helps to compare addiction relapse to relapse in other chronic conditions.

Understanding these triggers can help you stay motivated and on track with your recovery goals, ultimately leading to a healthier, happier life. A therapist or counselor can help you learn to listen to your mind and body to identify when you’re feeling stressed as well as help you develop healthy coping mechanisms. https://ecosoberhouse.com/ The solution to managing difficult situations is learning how to confront them without drugs and alcohol. If you’re not sure how to confront these situations, contact us today. On average more than 85% of individuals are susceptible to relapse in the following year after drug and alcohol treatment.

Types of Triggers That Can Lead to Addiction Relapse

Relapse-prevention therapy and mind-body relaxation are commonly combined into mindfulness-based relapse prevention [30]. Addicts must lie about getting their drug, hiding the drug, denying the consequences, and planning their next relapse. Clinical experience shows that when clients feel they cannot be completely honest, it is a sign of emotional relapse. It is often said that recovering individuals are as sick as their secrets.

This may come as a surprise, but being overconfident during your recovery is actually a huge relapse risk. Having confidence is important, but becoming overconfident may prompt you to feel like you don’t need a relapse prevention plan. As a result, you may find yourself in high-risk situations that could easily trigger a relapse. You can prevent this by keeping yourself in check and staying humble through the recovery process. For many people, difficult emotions and the inability to process them in a healthy way plays a big role in substance abuse in the first place.

What to Do in Case of a Relapse

Those in recovery need to learn that feeling uncomfortable is not a state that needs remediation. Coping methods learned in therapy help people remain grounded and reduce the https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/types-of-relapse-triggers/ craving for the escapism of substance abuse. Global statements like “This action proves I am a failure” are harmful and can cause negative feelings that trigger a relapse.

Awareness of these risks and proactive communication with your treatment team and support network can help manage relapse triggers during major life changes. By developing adaptive coping skills and practicing self-care during transitions, you can continue on your path to recovery and avoid setbacks. Emotional turmoil is a set of intense emotions such as sadness, depression, and anger, which can be a trigger for an emotional relapse. On the other hand, someone may experience cravings while feeling low or sad. Negative emotions like sadness, depression, guilt, loneliness, and anger can all be potential triggers for relapse. It’s crucial to address these negative feelings to prevent an emotional relapse.

Managing External Triggers

It’s also important to know when to ask for help again if you need it. After all, relapse doesn’t mean you have failed; it means you need more support and treatment. Relapse prevention group activities can be a cornerstone in the journey to recovery. These activities allow you and other group members to share experiences and foster camaraderie. No matter how strong your willpower is, you can’t fight relapse alone. You must accept help from supportive family and friends when you need it.

Developing strategies for processing and navigating difficult emotions is vital to prevent emotional turmoil from leading to a relapse. This might include seeking professional help, such as therapy or counseling, to better understand and manage these emotions. By proactively addressing emotional turmoil, you can maintain your sobriety and continue on your recovery journey.

What Is an Addiction Trigger?

But that is the final and most difficult stage to stop, which is why people relapse. Relapse is most common in the early stages of sobriety, and this is when relapse prevention is the most important. Discovery Institute is dedicated to providing patients with the best treatment in conjunction with medical detox. Without proper relapse prevention, people in recovery can experience relapse triggers that are especially strong, and they are at higher risk of abusing substances again. Having a support system that includes friends and family is one of the main ingredients for a sober life. However, there are most likely people in your life who encouraged your substance abuse in the past, and you have most likely tried to avoid them.

types of relapse triggers

A trigger is social, psychological, and emotional situations and events that compel an addicted person to seek their substance of choice, eventually leading them to relapse. When an addicted person uses drugs or alcohol for a prolonged period of time, it changes the brain—eventually associating certain stimuli with the desire to drink or do drugs. In the recovery world, a trigger is a sensory experience that can lead someone to misuse substances. When people feel triggered, it is often because they are reminded of something that is difficult to deal with on an emotional or physical level.

Published on: December 25, 2023  -  Filed under: Sober living