Years have gone by in sobriety. After making it through the initial struggle, putting in the work, and learning how to live, you’ve been able to maintain a sustainable and balanced life. You have little to complain about, you take good care of yourself, and the thought of a drink or drug rarely enters your mind…until it does. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, a vivid memory is triggered. You might be telling a story. The weather outside might be perfect- or it could be miserable. A certain smell wafts its way into your nose or you see something that reminds you of a time in the distant past. Whatever the sensory trigger your memory goes off and takes you to that one time when the using was good and the times were not so bad. Fondly, your brain remembers the joys of the euphoria you experienced at the hands of drugs and alcohol. Despite your love for a dedication to sobriety you find yourself suddenly thinking about a drink or a drug. It might be nice, one day, to try it again. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad after all this time. With so many years of learning how to control and balance your life, taking a drink or using recreational drugs just once or twice should be manageable. It wasn’t always bad. In fact, sometimes, it was really great. Consequences seem to slip your mind as you focus on the pleasure it would bring you to experience that feeling again. Friends, family members, job security, physical health, all become second place to the possible hope of experiencing that euphoria once more. This is euphoric recall.
Early Recovery and Euphoric Recall
In early recovery, euphoric recall is common. Since the last drink and drug are not too far away, the memories and events are fresh. Overtime, the euphoric recall is fleeting, but can still be substantial. Recovering addicts and alcoholics with any amount of time sober can fall victim to the brain’s connection to pleasure. Addiction is a chemical dependency in the brain which largely relies upon the production of euphoria from pleasure-communicating neurotransmitter dopamine. Without the proper tools to cope with memories which can produce cravings and obsessive thinking, it is easy to fall into the trap of euphoria after recalling it so intensely.
Long term treatment and an ongoing commitment to practicing the tools of recovery won’t prevent euphoric recall from happening but keep you well equipped to deal with any of life’s challenges, both inside and outside the mind.
Harmony Place is a residential treatment program providing multiple stages of care for a step down, transitional process. From detox to transitional living, we are focused on helping our clients find the serenity they are looking for. Recovery is hard work, but the work never has to be done alone. For more information, call us today at 1-855-652-9048.