Substance Use, Triggers and Relapse Community Health Systems of Wisconsin
Substance Use, Triggers and Relapse Community Health Systems of Wisconsin

Cocaine and several other illicit internal vs external triggerss also boost levels of dopamine. The Marquette researchers stated a stressed animal previously exposed to cocaine will crave the drug because the dopamine surge from cocaine trumps the release of stress-related dopamine. A NIDA study maintains that exposure to drug-related objects may influence a former addict’s behavior. The brain registers these stimuli and processes them in the same areas involved in drug-seeking behavior. Cues such as spoons can trigger memories of drug use in former heroin users without them being aware.

  • Throughout that process, he learned the importance of helping others and living by spiritual principles.
  • External triggers are easier to identify and manage than internal ones.
  • Triggers are a normal part of addiction recovery, but if left unchecked they can lead to a relapse.
  • Alcohol use may appear to provide momentary relief for mental illness symptoms, but in reality, alcohol abuse conflicts with treatment for mental illness and will make symptoms more dangerous.
  • Triggers provide a perfect example of why staying sober isn’t as simple as it seems.

Feeling financial strain, increased responsibility at work or home, and health problems left over from the substance abuse can all lead to stress. The newly sober and those early in recovery need to ensure they manage the stress in their lives effectively. The final stage is physical relapse when the individual begins to abuse drugs and alcohol again. Once the physical relapse begins, the user may find it extremely difficult to overcome. More often than not, the user will convince themselves that their use will cause no harm.

Substance Abuse Treatment for Executives and Professionals

By treating both disorders concurrently, symptoms will improve, and relapse can be avoided. People who are closest to the alcoholic could be a cause of cravings that ultimately lead to relapse.

What are the 3 types of relapse?

Relapse is a gradual process that begins weeks and sometimes months before an individual picks up a drink or drug. There are three stages to relapse: emotional, mental, and physical. The common denominator of emotional relapse is poor self-care.

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Addiction Treatment Programs

A professional assessment may include psychological testing, an interview, a medical evaluation, and a personal history and family dynamics discussion. Individuals in recovery need to be aware of their psychological triggers to manage them appropriately and reduce the risk of relapse due to these mental health issues. Following these strategies can reduce the risk of relapse due to emotional addiction triggers and maintain long-term sobriety. Part of setting up a safe recovery environment entails eliminating as many triggers as possible. It can be painful, for example, to let go of important relationships contaminated by addiction.

You might go straight to the dose that you’re accustomed to, but your body can no longer handle the same levels of drugs. Many people who want to avoid relapse need to avoid the triggers once they recognize them. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration states that roughly 8.9 million American adults are experiencing both a mental health and addiction disorder of some sort.

Social Isolation

For example, drug paraphernalia can trigger intense memories of drug use without the recovering addict. Coming from someone that has extensive experience with different treatment centers across the US, this place is truly one of a kind.


Learning to identify cravings and triggers is a crucial step in recovery. You also need to learn new ways to cope with the relapse triggers as well as your cravings so that you can overcome them and avoid relapse. Like Pavlov’s dogs, which learned to salivate when they heard a bell ringing, people with addiction learn to crave drugs as a response to certain situations. The solution to overcoming this relapse trigger is to learn how to channel your positive feelings in a positive way, without the use of substance abuse. Being born and raised in Gaithersburg, Maryland, it was always a dream for James to start a program where he began his own recovery journey. Having faced addiction in his own life, and having worked through recovery, James truly understands what it takes to get sober and stay sober.

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