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Internal vs External Relapse Triggers

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internal triggers list

Obviously, if you add a lack of a healthy support system into this loose equation, the chances of a relapse occurring are increased significantly. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse, Summit Behavioral Health is the place to turn. Sometimes, trying to avoid a triggering situation is reasonable. However, if avoidance hinders your ability to function, you should seek help. Mental health professionals don’t yet know precisely how triggers form. Some researchers believe that the brain stores memories from a traumatic event differently from memories of a non-traumatic event. Our proposal about the individual subjectivity implies understanding that the emotion is lived more as an expression of the complexity of a person’s life in specific circumstances, than as a reaction to the outside .

Understanding Triggers and How to Deal With Them in Recovery

When you’re bored, you may imagine what a great time you would be having if you used. Banish this temptation by staying as busy as possible—structure your time and fill it with the healthy activities that reflect the abstinent individual you’re becoming. A relapse prevention plan also puts clear plans into place to address drug and alcohol use if it happens. These typically involve people in your recovery support circle who can help lead you back to a life that is free of substance abuse and help you get back on track. 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.

  • People – A spouse, friend, coworker, neighbor or family member may all serve as triggers after returning home from detox.
  • They’ll allow themselves to consume alcohol in a controlled manner, but the repetition of drinking will usually escalate until it’s a full-blown relapse.
  • Therefore, relapse is seen as the effect of not having coping strategies.
  • To fully recover from addiction, you must modify the harmful behavioral and thought patterns in your life.
  • Similarly, mood swings, increased irritability, and other sudden marked changes in attitude can indicate either a risk of relapse or that they’ve already been in the throes of mental relapse.

In many cases, users cave to drug use during a window of opportunity and falsely believe it will cause no harm. High-risk places remind former drug users of the times they engaged in substance use. Walking or driving through places where they used to drink or consume drugs can spark a memory connected to drug or alcohol use. Friends and family may not understand the consequences of negative behaviors toward people in recovery. These behaviors can make the individuals feel alienated and push them toward substance use. provides information regarding illicit and prescription drug addiction, the various populations at risk for the disease, current statistics and trends, and psychological disorders that often accompany addiction. You will also find information on spotting the signs and symptoms of substance use and hotlines for immediate assistance.

Admissions Process

Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Your ultimate goal should be to detach yourself from the trigger, recenter, and focus on your coping strategy. Different levels for the study of addiction range from molecular to subjective .

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When an addict is in an addiction rehab facility, these external triggers are removed, and so allow the individual to work on coping skills to deal with such triggers, for when they leave treatment. Positive feelings are also relapse triggers for people in recovery. Such feelings can include celebratory feelings, passion, and excitement. Granted these feelings are positive, they can easily trigger relapses. For example, most celebrations involve substance use among-st friends and family. Therefore, if you’re in a drug and alcohol recovery stage, this environment can inspire you to feel celebratory and want to participate. Once you’ve finished addiction treatment and you’re sober, you might think you’re in the clear.

A person can identify the feelings that could trigger a relapse by questioning themselves:

Make the most of our vast knowledge of addiction treatment and our proven ability to change lives. Take the first step towards a new, better life by giving us a call today. To identify what things could be triggers, a good place to start is making a list of people, places, and things that were prevalent in active addiction. People can have a sponsor, sober support, or therapist help them create a list. Once a list is made, the next thing to do is to decide what boundaries need to be set. Triggers can be a wide range of things and will vary from person to person as they are linked to personal experiences.

In 2017, James had the opportunity to combine his business experience and passion for recovery to start The Freedom Center. Vince is a licensed social worker who treats clients recovering from substance use disorders. Vince received his bachelor’s degree in Family Science from The University of Maryland, and received his master’s degree in Social Work from The Catholic University of America.

What Are Relapse Triggers?

Substance abuse treatment aims to help individuals recognize the early warning signs of relapse and develop healthy coping skills to thwart a potential relapse. Drug use can often be the crutch we use to deal with problematic emotions. Perhaps your previous patterns of drug abuse were prompted by anxiety over your workload, or maybe you’re strongly compelled to use whenever you feel depressed, lonely, frustrated, angry or irritable. During your recovery, you’ll need internal triggers to focus on dealing with these feelings in a more positive way. Rather than covering up this feeling with drugs, you’ll need to try to resolve the underlying emotional problem. Speak with your addiction specialist about your options for overcoming these emotions. We often use drugs to mask negative emotions, but not every threat to your resolve will be tied to a disagreeable feeling—your own drug use may be more closely tied to celebration than melancholia.

internal triggers list

You might need to find alternative places to hang out or take time away from the family for self-care on a regular basis. External triggers can be very powerful and sometimes, you may not be able to dissociate certain things with your past substance abuse.

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