Addictions often start off being rewarding and pleasurable. But as the addiction proceeds, it evolves into compulsive behaviour. Sometimes, even if an addict goes through a detoxification/de-addiction process (at the best detox centres in India no less!), he remains vulnerable to relapse, particularly in the presence of ‘triggers’.
Relapse triggers are social, environmental or emotional cues that remind former addicts of their past addiction. Such cues or ‘associations’ may lead to a relapse.
All the best detox centres in India including Sunshine Wellness Centre have found that long-term drug use creates an association in the brain between previous drug experiences and current daily routines. As a result, individuals may get cravings when exposed to certain cues and then act on these cravings, resulting in a relapse. Such a response is not limited to newly-sober people. It can also affect individuals who have abstained from drugs or alcohol for a long time.
What are some the most common associations in addiction?
Associations or triggers can be either external or internal.
External associations include people, places, objects and even activities that elicit thoughts or cravings related to substance abuse.
Persons in recovery should not be around other substance abusers, even if they are friends or family. Moreover, spending time with other users or drinkers – even if they are not addicts per se – in an environment that promotes the use of drugs or alcohol can also be perilous. Examples of such places and situations include bars, clubs, parties and even concerts. Holiday parties involving social drinking may also be stressful associations. Other common situational triggers include music (e.g. listening to EDM music may remind a former addict of a rave party where he consumed Ecstasy/MDMA), starting a new job, getting a call from a creditor, having an argument or going to a restaurant that serves liquor. Watching a movie or game while drinking or using drugs with friends are also not uncommon associations. For many people, singing karaoke is associated with bars and therefore drinking, regardless of where the karaoke singing actually happens. Some associative triggers can also be internal involving thoughts, feelings and emotions like depression, fear, anxiety, shame, loneliness, guilt, stress, etc that addicts may associate with substance abuse.
The other association that the best detox centres in India often see are associations between sex and addictive substances like drugs and alcohol. Some people under the influence of alcohol or drugs feel increased sexual desire. For them, intercourse may last longer; leading to the illusion that sex is better with substance use. Thus, sex may be identified with the addiction and may lead to relapse.
Resisting such triggers and associations is not always easy. Depending on how far along the former addict is on his recovery journey, such associations can cause a dangerous relapse and at Sunshine Wellness Centre we understand that. If you need help managing such associations to become addiction-free, contact us. We are one of the best detoxification centres in India and we can help.
Phone: +91 96190 12932