Reducing Triggers in Alcohol Addiction Recovery

McGeehan points to a 2013 review of more than 200 studies that found mindfulness-based therapy effectively reduces anxiety, depression, and stress. At the Massachusetts Center for Addiction, we provide personalized, comprehensive treatment programs. We understand that each individual has unique needs, and we offer a variety of treatments, including partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) and intensive outpatient programs (IOPs). While some people may not understand your actions, over time they will have to learn how to respect your choices. When you view entertainment, you can review the content of a song, movie, or podcast before immersing yourself fully in the content. You may notice that this song, movie, or podcast has some triggering material that you will be exposed to when reviewing the content.

  • A person can find alternative routes to avoid high-risk places, such as places where they used to meet their dealers or bars where they used to binge drink.
  • What all triggers share, though, is their ability to affect a person—sometimes quickly, sometimes gradually—which, for many, leads them to use or misuse of substances as a response.
  • Often, relapse will be preceded by a trigger that causes someone to start thinking about relapsing or creates a craving for a substance that was previously used.
  • Brainstorm with your sponsor, friend, or therapist if there are ways you can avoid this trigger in the future.
  • Triggers typically elicit strong negative emotions such as fear, anger, or shame.
  • These programs are designed to hold you accountable and build a strong support system.

There are two main types of triggers that can start someone towards the path of relapse. Similarly, you might find that you experience emotional discomfort such as anxiety, shame, envy, resentment, or sadness when you see  someone’s post on social media. Perhaps you have a history of consuming alcohol with this friend, or the relationship has been stressful. In this case, you can block this friend’s post from your newsfeed or unfriend this person. You may even decide to deactivate or delete your social media accounts altogether if you find it is causing stress to your sobriety. Maintaining one’s recovery despite the existence of triggers can be overwhelming at times.

Situations That Trigger Relapses

If you or a loved one struggles with addiction to drugs or alcohol, you are not alone. At Canyon Vista Recovery Center, located in Mesa, Arizona, you will learn the skills needed to gain sobriety. Using a combination of medical, clinical, psychiatric, and holistic approaches, our highly skilled professionals will help you heal your mind, body, and spirit. Stephanie Catalano is an accomplished Clinical Director at Agape Behavioral Healthcare. With a Master of Social Work degree, LCSW license, and extensive training in Rapid Resolution Therapy under her belt, she brings a wealth of expertise to her role.

internal and external triggers

Exercise can serve as a healthy outlet for the emotions that often arise from cravings and other triggers. Working out can also add structure to your day, giving you something to look forward to. In addition, exercise can help your body begin recovering from the negative physical effects of prolonged substance use. Exercise is a great way to practice focusing on the task at hand, and you’ll feel good for hours afterward. Substance use often begins when someone has the desire to numb an emotional response to a trauma trigger. That’s why treatment and recovery are so focused on helping people develop the ability to look within and face some of the hardest aspects of their lives without the crutch of substance use.

What is a Trigger?

Her unique combination of education and experience allows her to provide exceptional care to clients and lead her team with confidence. Stephanie’s joy comes from witnessing the moments when her patients creatively connect the dots and bravely move toward reclaiming their power. Her purpose is to help individuals understand their past so they can create a future full of hope, growth, and success.

  • Like substance use disorder, triggers are most effectively responded to on an individualized basis.
  • Your goal should be to detach yourself from the trigger, recenter, and focus on your coping strategy.
  • Addiction relapse triggers in drug and alcohol abuse recovery are quickly becoming a major concern for inpatient and outpatient treatment addicts.
  • Your therapist can help you figure out your triggers and come up with a plan for how to deal with your PTSD symptoms.
  • Some use trigger warnings to give students time to physically or mentally prepare for potentially distressing subject matter, such as physical or sexual violence.
  • In the context of mental health conditions, internal triggers are the cognitive and emotional cues that lead to a relapse of symptoms.
  • They can be a reminder of instances where substances ruled your life or of a past trauma that once led you to use substances.

Believe it or not, some of the closest people to you can trigger a relapse. While it is difficult to step away from friends, family, and loved ones; sometimes, you may have to keep them at an arm’s length. And if you can’t avoid these people in your life,  you should consider limiting your time with them, even if it is a coworker or your employers; Limit how much time you spend with them in the office.

Managing Internal Triggers

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. External triggers are particular locations, activities, things, people, places, objects, situations, smells, tastes, images, and events that make the person want to drink alcohol or use drugs.

  • These journals may provide various prompts or inspirational stories to aid your recovery journey.
  • For those going through treatment or who are otherwise in active recovery, understanding relapse triggers is vital.
  • For instance, the death of a loved one can easily trigger a relapse in a recovering addict.
  • 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.
  • Also, writing down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a daily journal could help you identify trends, events, or stimuli that lead to triggers.
  • For many triggers, it can be helpful to discuss the emotional response it generates and how that leads to substance misuse.
  • And by talking to a support group or mental health professional about how a trigger makes one feel, it can help to process the trigger and establish an effective response.

People at risk of a relapse should avoid stressful situations that are likely to push them to use drugs and alcohol. 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. Others say trigger warnings can reinforce avoidance behaviors, which might only exacerbate PTSD in the long term. Instead, they argue that the emotions that arise from triggers should be appropriately dealt with in therapy, particularly if the feelings and resulting behaviors interfere with daily life.

Physical Relapse

Attend regular and consistent alcohol addiction recovery-based support groups. For example, in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, you can share your experience with triggers and hear the experience of others to gain inspiration and ideas to support your sobriety. You internal and external triggers can attend other recovery-based support groups such as SMART Recovery or Women for Sobriety, a therapy group, or faith-based community connections. A relapse trigger, whether internal or external, is something that sets off cravings in recovering individuals.