Addiction Triggers, and How To Cope With Them?

Internal triggers are what many psychological and behavioral therapies try to address, either in- or out-patient. These triggers have to do with the thoughts of the individual, how they see themselves and others. These are much more difficult to manage because managing them is entirely dependent on the individual. This strategy includes caring about yourself, your health, and your overall well-being.

  • Combined with other treatments, exercise shows promise to help continue with sobriety.
  • Cognitive restructuring can be used to tackle cognitive errors such as the abstinence violation effect.
  • People in recovery should contact a Right Path Addiction center near them to find counseling services and group therapy sessions that meet their needs.
  • Also, even if this approach feels like self-harm, it will help you adjust to being more compassionate with yourself and the understanding and honesty about your triggers, which will allow you to self heal them.
  • Do your best to plan meals, engage in mindfulness, seek out social support and stick to a regular sleep schedule.

Avoiding toxic relationships in recovery is vital for avoiding relapse. Addiction often develops because people use drugs or alcohol to feel better about their current situation.

Right Path Addiction Treatment Centers

If you or someone you know relapses, the most important thing to do is ensure safety. Drug and alcohol tolerance may decrease in recovery, so someone who has been sober for months and uses the same amount of a substance they used before treatment may be at risk of overdose. If the relapse does not seem life-threatening, contacting a sponsor, therapist or trusted loved one is the next thing to do. 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 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. Leaving behind the all-or-nothing approach helps people take a more rounded view of their recovery and limit reactionary emotions.

This is of especial interest when only limited effects have been documented by pharmacological treatments, for example in the drug addiction . The cue-reactivity paradigm used in fMRI addiction studies has pointed out limbic and prefrontal cortices as the key systems in response to stimuli (Chase et al., 2011). However, a more recent meta-analysis concludes the absence of a consensus in relation to the brain response to conditioned drug stimuli (Zilberman et al., 2019). The loss of consensus can possibly be partially explained by the role of frustration triggering the negative perception of the reality , an element shared in both, stress and addiction disorders. This can include specific people, places, activities, and objects. It is often a mix of conscious or subconscious cues that reinforce thoughts or cravings to use substances.

Preventing Relapse

These can occur as the brain and body adjust to the changing levels of alcohol or drugs in the system. If a person can work to identify and avoid their triggers, they will have an easier time controlling and regulating their cravings and urges. Without feeling the strong compulsion to use substances, there is a much lower risk of relapse and future drug use. For some suffering from addiction, it is common for dishonesty to replace truth even when the truth would offer a better outcome. Real addiction recovery is centered around behavioral change, and honesty starts with being honest with oneself. Once dishonesty begins, this warning sign indicates the person in recovery is headed in the wrong direction. For many working a recovery program, they experience an uncomfortable feeling when they do something dishonest.

  • All this is meant to reach the optimal level of accessibility, following technological advancements.
  • Recovering addicts, alcoholics, and their families want to know why the loved one might relapse, and it is understandable why many fear this possibility.
  • Offering alcohol to a former addict may trigger feelings that urge the individual to use drugs.
  • Internal triggers are thoughts or emotions that make you want to use drugs or alcohol.

Contact us today to learn about programs that can work well for your situation. Self-efficacy is defined as the degree to which an individual feels confident and capable of performing certain behaviour in a specific situational context5. The RP model proposes that at the cessation of a habit, a client feels self-efficacious with regard to the unwanted behaviour and that this perception of self-efficacy stems from learned and practiced skills3. Chronic stressors may also overlap between self-efficacy and other areas of intrapersonal determinants, like emotional states, by presenting more adaptational strain on the treatment-seeking client4. The responses to psychosocial stressful stimuli in healthy individuals also involve the participation of hippocampus, amygdala, insula and prefrontal cortices .

How Do I Handle Triggers?

Another essential aspect to consider when coping with addiction triggers is the impact that they have on a person’s mental health. Not only is addiction a psychological illness, but it often goes closely with others that are masked by withdrawal symptoms. With the assistance of a CBT therapist, it is possible to break the strong bond of addiction triggers.

Over time and with ongoing recovery efforts, these thoughts and triggers become fewer and far between and far less intense. When they start becoming more intense and more frequent, however, that is the time for substance users to take notice and evaluate their recovery efforts. Substance use disorders are daunting, and substance users would benefit from respecting and believing they are up against a force far greater than their willpower can handle on its own. Substance users utilize many resources such as people, places, and things to stay active in their addiction. They most likely would benefit from using that same strategy in their recovery. Unfortunately, this does not always happen and substance use disorders appear to be the only fatal illness where patients and their families try to treat themselves and fight to stay sick.

Old Places And Hangouts Can Trigger Relapse

A number of less obvious factors also influence the relapse process. These covert antecedents include lifestyle factors, such as overall stress level, one’s temperament and personality, as well as cognitive factors. These may serve to set up a relapse, for example, using rationalization, denial, or a desire for immediate gratification. Lifestyle factors have been proposed as the Internal and External Relapse Triggers covert antecedents most strongly related to the risk of relapse. It involves the degree of balance in the person’s life between perceived external demands and internally fulfilling or enjoyable activities. Urges and cravings precipitated by psychological or environmental stimuli are also important6. Therefore, relapse is seen as the effect of not having coping strategies.

What does a trauma trigger look like?

Triggers can include sights, sounds, smells, or thoughts that remind you of the traumatic event in some way. Some PTSD triggers are obvious, such as seeing a news report of an assault. Others are less clear. For example, if you were attacked on a sunny day, seeing a bright blue sky might make you upset.

It’s been used successfully to treat alcohol addiction and marijuana dependence. Mental relapse, or relapse justification, is the continuous fight between wanting to use and knowing you should not use. Individuals often underestimate the dangers of situations and fall into the trap of single-time use.

In rats and humans, the hormone corticosterone increases the level of dopamine, a brain chemical that plays a major role in reward-seeking behavior, in the brain in response to stress. Cocaine and several other illicit drugs also boost levels of dopamine.

Internal and External Relapse Triggers

Users in recovery can ask themselves some questions to help them understand their internal thoughts and feelings. A person can find alternative routes to avoid high-risk places, such as places where they used to meet their dealers or bars where they used to binge drink.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Open chat
Our Certified Business Psychology CBPsychol® is duly registered with the Ministry of Trade and Investment, Commercial Law Department Office