What Are Relapse Triggers: Internal Vs External Relapse Triggers

Patients in rehab may consider skipping treatment sessions or support group meetings to spend time with their friends and family. A break in the routine may leave periods of isolation where patients may be inclined to use substances. People at risk of a relapse should avoid stressful situations that are likely to push them to use drugs and alcohol. 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. Many people who want to avoid relapse need to avoid the triggers once they recognize them.

It is also essential for those struggling with an addiction to be aware of their emotions and reactions to anticipate potential relapse episodes and plan accordingly. A trigger diary can also help uncover underlying causes of use or cravings, including underlying emotions and environmental events that may lead to substance abuse. Furthermore, a trigger diary can allow people in recovery to recognize patterns in their behaviors and develop more effective coping strategies for future situations.

Definition of an Internal Trigger

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 wide array of negative emotions, such as anger, sadness, and anxiety, characterizes the emotional relapse stage of addiction relapse. These feelings can lead to impulse behaviors against the individual’s recovery plan. It is important to recognize the signs of emotional relapse early so the necessary steps can be taken to prevent a total return to addiction.

Specialists often recommend “thought stopping” strategies, the development of refusal skills, and the avoidance of high-risk situations. Addition treatment will help patients learn how best to utilize these strategies while forging their own recovery path. One of the biggest risks during drug recovery is that someone who is recovering from using a substance will relapse and begin https://ecosoberhouse.com/ taking that substance again. To avoid relapse, it is important to understand the risk factors and causes that typically lead to relapse. Understanding these risk factors will help you to avoid the potential risk of relapse during or following recovery. As an individual in recovery, it’s vital that you understand each of these stages of relapse so you can better combat them.

What Are Triggers?

Research suggests that people who have used drugs in order to mitigate stress in the past are likely to return to this behavior when future stressors arise. This would suggest that someone in recovery could be prone to relapse due to an elevated level of stress in life. The are many triggers in each category that were not mentioned, but once you  have identified internal and external triggers your triggers, use some tools like the thought records or talk to someone. If you are in a self-help program, ask for help in a meeting or with a confidant. You can overcome the power of these triggers with help and prevent a relapse of substance abuse. People who feel them may seek to return to their habits as a way to escape their feelings.

What is an example of an external trigger?

  • Stressful or uncomfortable situations.
  • Being around people who elevate your stress levels.
  • Being around other people who drink or do drugs.
  • Social events like concerts, parties, going out to dinner.
  • Financial troubles.
  • Home and work responsibilities.
  • Certain objects that remind you of using.

You are more than capable of abstaining from drugs and alcohol while avoiding triggers. Emotions like anger, guilt, irritability, and low self-esteem can surface when individuals are triggered, spiraling into various behaviors and compulsions. Unfortunately, the nature of emotional or mental triggers can run very deep and can be traumatizing. Some can push individuals to adopt unhealthy ways of coping, such as self-harm, harm to others, and substance abuse. It’s valuable to work with your therapist to learn ways to manage your triggers in a healthy manner.

Physical Relapse

This can only be done with peer support and clearly defined relapse prevention strategies. These strategies are formulated in drug rehab and can be practiced safely within a transitional housing situation. In this stage, you are battling yourself, constantly fighting an inner war between not using and using. You might begin bargaining with yourself, replacing one substance with another or you might begin to rationalize the use of drugs and alcohol by minimizing the consequences. You might also start permitting yourself to use a substance once or twice a year, thinking you’ll be able to control your usage habits. Although it’s important to note that occasional thoughts of using while in recovery are normal and even frequent, dwelling or acting on those thoughts is what will lead to relapse in the end.

When triggered, we often execute a mindless action to ease the negative sensation. If you can find alternative routes to your next destination, try to map out your drive.

How to Identify a Trigger

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as simply following the bulleted list below. However, with the right treatment and support, you can succeed at living a sober and happy life in recovery. Now, to answer the question that was proposed at the beginning and go over what we discussed.

internal and external triggers examples