Understanding the Psychological Triggers of Addiction

Overcoming addiction is a life-long journey that involves many ups and downs. It’s critical to understand that receiving...

Overcoming addiction is a life-long journey that involves many ups and downs. It’s critical to understand that receiving addiction treatment and becoming sober is just the beginning of your recovery journey. Relapsing is a major threat to your recovery journey. An estimated 40-60% of people in recovery from substance use disorders relapse.  

All individuals in recovery from substance use disorders face triggers that can put themselves at risk of jeopardizing their recovery journey. There are several common psychological triggers that can increase your risk of relapse. That’s why, in this article, you’ll build a greater understanding of common psychological triggers of addiction, so you can be aware and avoid these triggers to help maintain your long-term sobriety.

Arista Recovery is a leading Midwest addiction recovery center committed to helping as many patients as possible overcome addiction and maintain life-long sobriety. We understand that no two addiction recovery journeys are the same. That’s why we offer several different addiction recovery treatment programs to best help as many patients as possible achieve sobriety.

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Common Psychological Triggers of Addiction Stress

Stress is a normal part of life; however, chronic stress is harmful and can lead many to seek out unhealthy ways to cope with their stress, including drug abuse. While it’s impossible to avoid stress entirely, it’s important to understand that stress can increase your cravings to abuse drugs and increase your risk of falling back into old habits and abusing drugs. Therefore, it’s critical that you manage your stress levels to ensure you don’t become vulnerable to abusing drugs or alcohol. Consider blocking out time to reflect and practice self-care and consider asking for help from others if your stress is becoming too overwhelming.

Untreated Emotional Trauma

Emotional trauma is another common psychological trauma factor that can put your recovery journey at risk. Just because you experienced trauma in your childhood does not mean you are doomed for life. Fortunately, there are many ways you can address and treat your emotional trauma to prevent yourself from going back and abusing drugs to cope with your trauma. This may include seeking consistent help from a therapist to address and treat your trauma, rather than avoiding your trauma symptoms.

Untreated Mental Illness

Similar to the untreated emotional trauma point above, if you are struggling with an untreated mental illness, whether that be bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, and more, it’s critical that you seek professional support to better manage your mental illness symptoms. Otherwise, if left untreated, your mental illness can cause you to turn back to drugs to cope with your mental disorder symptoms. That’s why it’s critical if you know or suspect you may be struggling with a mental health condition that you seek help to address your symptoms head-on.

Environmental Cues

Environmental cues such as being around people who still abuse drugs or being in the same home or locations where you used to abuse drugs before you became sober are more examples of common psychological triggers. While some environmental cues may be easier than others to completely eliminate from your life, it’s important that you cut out as many of these environmental cues as possible so you can reduce your risk of relapsing.

Loneliness or Isolation

Last but not least, loneliness or being isolated is another common psychological trigger that can jeopardize your recovery journey. Whether you don’t have a strong family support system behind you or healthy relationships in your life, it’s important that you stay connected to a solid support system throughout your recovery journey.

This can look like rebuilding healthy relationships with friends and family members who can support you along your recovery. Or, consider attending weekly addiction support groups to build connections with other individuals who can relate to and support your recovery journey. Otherwise, constantly being alone with your thoughts can potentially make you vulnerable to falling back into old negative beliefs to start using drugs or alcohol again.

Top-Rated Midwest Addiction Recovery

Understanding the psychological triggers of addiction is critical to help you reduce your risk of relapse and maintain long-term sobriety. While it’s nearly impossible to escape triggers in their entirety, recognizing and understanding the psychological triggers of addiction ahead of time will help you spot and proactively work to prevent your exposure/ risk to these triggers in your own life.

Arista Recovery is a leading substance use treatment center committed to helping patients lead happier, healthier lives. No matter where you are along your recovery journey, our team is here to help you every step of the way to not just overcome your addiction, but maintain lifelong sobriety.Contact us today to discover how you can break free of addiction for good.

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