Drug associated triggers and powerful re-activators of addictive behavior
In cognitive behavioral therapy they’re a big part of the “Five W’s” = When, Where, Why, With, and What. In the various 12-step programs they’re simply referred to as “People, places, and things.” But no matter how you refer to them, drug-associated cues, or “triggers” as they are more commonly known, obviously play a big role in reminding addicted individuals about their drug-seeking behavior, and they are often enough to restart old behavior, even among those who have been absent for a while and especially for those unprepared for their effect.
Dr. Adi Jaffe is an addiction treatment expert trained at UCLA. However, before he got involved in the field of addiction research and treatment, he was a drug dealer and meth addict himself. He incorporates his own personal experience with drugs and his over the top lifestyle into his treatment methodology. After being arrested 4 times and serving two stints in a rehab, he managed to get his life back on track. He has now published several articles and given several speeches on the subject matter of addiction. He now writes for Psychology Today.
Editor: Arman Ahmed
Different triggers to reactivate old behavior
Research on relapse (what researchers call reinstatement) has long shown that there are a number of things that can return a person, or an animal, to drug seeking after they have been absent for a while. Stress, small drug doses, and the presentation of triggers are all very capable of doing this, even after months of abstinence and likely even years. It’s probably not surprising that giving drugs to an abstinent person can make them want the drug again. In fact, I would venture to guess that most readers believe that this is the most powerful way to induce a relapse (assuming the initial exposure was out of a person’s control and doesn’t count).
Well, recent research suggests that in actuality, triggers, or those people, places, and things, might be more powerful or at least longer lasting relapse risks than even taking drugs!
Watch a video by Dr Sadaqat on addictive behaviors
Dr. Sadaqat Ali talks about addictive behaviors