Patients in recovery can be sheltered from the risks of external triggers by producing strategies to avoid triggers that prompt their prior alcohol use. Patients should also be able to fight their alcohol cravings when they’re in triggering circumstances. Substance addiction relapse occurs in 3 distinct stages or phases – the emotional stage, then the mental stage, and finally, the physical stage. Contrary to what you may think or have heard, relapse is far from quick – it is a slow process, where the individual goes through each stage, as opposed to a rapid event. For the recovering addict, simply being aware of these 3 phases of relapse can help prevent one before it actually occurs. Some recovering addicts even decide that now, as they are sober and not drinking or using, they are, in some way, cured. Those in recovery who feel they can now turn their backs on a continued effort to stay clean and sober are setting themselves up for potential and damaging relapse.

Researchers highlighted the importance of avoiding the people, places and things that remind patients of their former lifestyle. The are many triggers in each category that were not mentioned, but once you have identified 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. Moving Mountains takes a whole-person approach to recovery by offering a continuum of care, clinically proven treatments, and holistic healing. We work closely with you to identify your unique needs, facilitate individualized treatments, and help you establish a foundation upon which your recovery–and the rest of your life–can grow. Our compassionate, friendly staff is available 24-hours a day to take your call and help you begin your recovery journey.

Are Trigger Warnings Helpful?

Nobody expects any addict to be aware of every possible trigger, but they should be aware of every possible trigger that is personal, relevant and potentially dangerous to them. Objects, activities, places, and people that cause a person to think about using or a craving for a substance are defined as external triggers. What may be a normal, everyday situation or minor inconvenience for some may be triggering to someone living with mental illness. What is usually conceptualized as a trigger would be a simplification because it denies the role of the inner experience. If we accept the frustration is previous to the external trigger, then the clinical approach should be headed to search and treat the emotional “tangle” underlying frustration and its relationship with the external stimulus. Because if we avoid the external trigger without treating the previous subjective cause, then the probability of relapse is high.

How do you calm a triggered person?

  1. Let them know that they can contact you. This is a simple gesture and a very important one.
  2. Be physically close to them.
  3. Distract and/or comfort them.
  4. Don't be judgmental.
  5. Don't beat yourself up if you make a mistake.

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What are Internal Triggers?

By attending therapy sessions once a week, you will be able to sit and talk with someone who can listen and provide valuable insight. If you do relapse because of your triggers, using substances can be deadly. You might go straight internal triggers to the dose that you’re accustomed to, but your body can no longer handle the same levels of drugs. Therefore, it’s essential to develop coping methods that allow you to work through your triggers without resorting to drugs.

Additionally, remember that cravings only last approximately minutes, and you can use relaxation techniques, such as mindfulness or yoga, to calm yourself and get refocused on your recovery. Furthermore, they can also be strongly influenced by the presence of other mitigating factors, such as feeling stressed, tired, or unwell, either physically or mentally.

We ALso Accept Most PPO Plans

Agape Treatment Center for substance abuse embraces a universal, unconditional love that transcends, that serves regardless of circumstances. We provide individuals all over the country with the opportunity to achieve the gift of lasting sobriety. Then, they can stop the thoughts from going in a negative direction. Researchers deduced that the amygdala played an important role in producing focused and exclusive desire, similar to drug addiction. Internal triggers act in reverse, associating these signals to the substances that elicit them. The research maintained that subconscious cues are dangerous because they reinforce the patient’s desire to restart using drugs without them being aware of it.

  • External triggers can be very powerful and sometimes, you may not be able to dissociate certain things with your past substance abuse.
  • With a robust foundation in 12-step philosophy, Federico can not only educate the clients on the model, but also integrate the tried-and-true principles in a more personal, clinical setting.
  • In many cases, when you feel “normal” again, you might be overly confident that you can handle being in situations that serve as external triggers.
  • The world around us often houses external triggers that interfere with addiction treatment , but so does the world within us.

Patients need to understand the nature of triggers before they can begin proper treatment. Learning how to cope with triggers and thoughts of substances can help the individual successfully reintegrate into society. To cope with internal triggers, developing a sober support system is extremely valuable. By attending any kind of twelve-step meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, people will be able to form healthy relationships with others who are in recovery and have more time clean and sober. Being able to talk to someone who has experience dealing with triggers personally is one of the best resources to have. At New Method Wellness, we can help you learn more about triggers, relapse and addiction.

Are There Mental Health Triggers?

The person in recovery will also need to set boundaries for themselves, for places they will not go to or events they won’t attend. This could mean places where there will be heavy exposure to drugs and alcohol or places they frequented during active addiction. Although many people who seek treatment for addiction hope that they can stay sober afterwards, approximately 40 to 60 percent of people relapse. A relapse doesn’t mean that you failed or that the treatment wasn’t successful. Treatment for many chronic illnesses, including addiction, often requires multiple rounds. Even though relapse is a common part of recovery, it can be serious or fatal. Therefore, it’s important to address relapse triggers so that you can remain aware that relapse is always possible and use your resources to avoid or cope with those internal & external relapse triggers.

What does it look like when someone is triggered?

Being triggered may primarily show up in how you behave; you might isolate yourself from others, become argumentative, shut down emotionally, or become physically aggressive. You may even experience dissociation or suicidal thoughts.

Physical relapse occurs when a person returns to using a substance, and the onset of this final stage can occur far more quickly than it can with emotional or mental relapse. Sometimes, the occurrence of physical relapse can occur so suddenly that it can seem more like a reflex than a conscious decision. In these cases, a trigger is anything that prompts an increase in or return of symptoms. For example, a person recovering from a substance use disorder might be triggered by seeing someone using their drug of choice. However, there is no doubt that addictive disorders have a strong subjective component that is not fully fitted with the present models.