How Can I Identify and Handle Addiction Triggers? 6 Tips

internal and external triggers in addiction

You can avoid all the external triggers in your life and still have internal triggers that make you think about drug abuse or alcohol abuse again. There are many common addiction triggers that can lead to persistent thoughts and images of substance use. Drugs and alcohol are often used to self-medicate mental illness and mask negative emotions. The correlation between mental health and addiction has been studied extensively, with addiction treatment facilities now offering dual diagnosis programs. When a dual diagnosis is apparent, mental health and addiction specialists must address both the addiction and mental illness in order to ensure a long, healthy and happy recovery. A relapse trigger, whether internal or external, is something that sets off cravings in recovering individuals.

How Does This Trigger a Relapse?

Every individual in recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction needs to work each day to keep their sobriety. During recovery, each person will encounter triggers that could result in relapse. Knowing and understanding how triggers work and being aware of your personal triggers are critical aspects of safeguarding your recovery. If you or a loved one has experienced a relapse, or are just considering treatment options, we are here to help you. The Recovery Village has a strong record of helping people with substance use disorders to achieve recovery. Reach out to one of our understanding team members today to learn how you can start on your path to recovery.

Old Places And Hangouts Can Trigger Relapse

A break in the routine may leave periods of isolation where patients may be inclined to use substances. Identifying your triggers is one of the most effective internal and external triggers steps you can take in managing them. Paying attention to the environment around you when you experience a trigger can help you examine them.

internal and external triggers in addiction

Before Addiction Triggers Become a Craving, Reach out For Help

  • Take positive steps to manage your stress and anxiety, such as mindfulness, exercise, and speaking to a therapist or support group.
  • However, recent meta-analyses found little evidence that discrete emotion categories can be consistently and specifically localized to distinct brain regions (Lindquist et al., 2012).
  • If you are in recovery, please don’t lose hope in your ability to enjoy sobriety if you experience a relapse.
  • Specialists often recommend “thought stopping” strategies, the development of refusal skills, and the avoidance of high-risk situations.
  • Mental relapse, or relapse justification, is the continuous fight between wanting to use and knowing you should not use.

A heroin addiction treatment center would likely provide family therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy to help the client to learn to address emotional pain without the need for opioids. 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. Stress is often a major trigger for substance abuse, so finding alternative coping mechanisms is essential for maintaining sobriety. Several strategies may work for different people in different situations, but some proven methods of dealing with stress include finding healthy hobbies and interests. Emotions that act as internal triggers can be negative, positive, or neutral.

Assertively communicate your need for sobriety and establish clear limits. It will help you maintain a safe environment that supports your recovery journey. External triggers are environmental events and situations that make you want to use drugs or drink alcohol.

  • Similarly to addiction, stress disorders are also related to a trigger stimulus evoking a strong subjective experience.
  • Getting appropriate treatment for these conditions will go a long way toward helping you process negative emotions and feelings of intense anxiety.
  • Relapse triggers are far more extreme for recovering addicts in the early recovery months of addiction treatment.
  • We are going through what may be the toughest year of many of our lives, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Of special interest is the role of the so called “Big Five” personality traits in the risk for drug addiction (Andreassen et al., 2013).
  • You may want to consider attending a 12-step program and getting a sponsor.
  • Emotional triggers are emotional states that can lead to relapse in recovery.
  • You experience it so much and so often that it seems to lose its grip on you.

Make a plan

Stress Increases Vulnerability to Triggers and Relapse

internal and external triggers in addiction

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