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Euphoric Recall

Euphoric recall is basically looking at something with rose tinted glasses on or just remembering the good bits.

Imagine that you are watching a trailer of a move; the general plot is given but only the highlights (good bits) ARE SHOWN.

Highlights of a movie can make it seem really good and make you want to watch it. The reality is often that these were the best bits of the film and the rest is not up to expectations and you wonder why you bothered going to see it.

Euphoric recall with drugs (especially crack & cocaine) and to a degree alcohol can act in the same way in that only good memories are shown which help to build up your expectations of anticipation of drug use. The reality however, of living the film “Some of My Using Experiences” is that you are left feeling unsatisfied, depressed, anxious and paranoid etc. As well as these feelings you may also be in debt, facing consequences of your actions and in trouble with partners, family and friends.

You need to build up an awareness of how euphoric recall works with you and also how other people can help to spark this off. Think of how may times you have been talking with other users about experiences and how that has triggered off a craving. Once you are aware of how these discussions about the ‘good times’ effect you, try and avoid them.

Exercise, The good and bad of using:

Lets look at the pro’s and con’s of using so that the reality of your using is understood. List both the good and bad elements of any using, this can be any drugs, alcohol, or if you are reading this out of pure interest, use chocolate, watching TV, checking Facebook. Be truthful and honest and don’t fool yourself!

On paper, draw 2 columns, on the left write down all the good bits, on the right write down all the bad bits. Be honest.

This is your reality of using, no trailers and no highlights; remember this next time you want to see the film. Ask yourself: Is it worth it? Is this what I really want to do?


Ways to deal with it:

So what can we do about Euphoric recall? Listed below are a number of methods that you can use to deal with euphoric recall.

Forced Memory Connection:

This involves you remembering the reality of your drug or alcohol use for you. In effect, it’s remembering that you have seen the film lots of times before and it doesn’t get any better. Use the good and bad list to help you remember the realities of your use and what has brought you to this point of wanting to stop using.

Thought Stopping:

When you have become aware that you are thinking about the so called ‘good times’ stop the thought. Recognise where you are heading and stop it there, look at what has sparked off these thoughts and deal with the situation. This will usually be a trigger.

Thought Replacement:

Once you are aware of what you are doing you can replace these thoughts with ones that are more positive for you. Think about the things that you want to achieve and positive things in your life, no matter how small they may seem. Don’t get into depressive thoughts as this can lead you back into thinking about using crack or cocaine to make you feel better.


Points to remember:

Euphoric recall will often lead to feelings of craving. Remember that this is just an exaggeration of your ‘fight and flight’ response. You don’t really need drugs or alcohol, you just think that you do.

Use some of the following techniques to help reduce the levels of adrenaline in your system:

  • Slow Breathing
  • Burn relaxing oils
  • Have auricular acupuncture
  • Use relaxing herbal teas
  • Talk to somebody you trust and that will offer positive support
  • Get yourself into a safer environment

Using dreams:

On occasions you may find yourself dreaming about the lead up to using and when you awake it feels like you really are just about to use. This is a similar process to having a nightmare. When you feel threatened and scared in the nightmare you release adrenaline and wake up with your heart beating, fast breathing and the sweats. The same is happening in a using dream. Adrenaline is being released because of the anticipation is using and when you awake the physical feelings of use feel very real.

The points mentioned above can be used to help reduce the adrenaline levels after a dream.


Gladstones Clinic offers a residential detox and rehab programme for both alcoholism and drug addiction that applies abstinence-based, integrative treatments and a non 12-step philosophy as part of our treatment model.

We work with alcoholics and addicts and their families on a daily basis in our residential rehab clinic. We have seen the damage done to everyone involved. We apply our years of experience with the latest integrative treatment models and therapies in our highly successful practice.

Gladstones operates two private residential rehab facilities in the South-West of England, and two in London. Our main office and facilities are located in central Bristol.

All Our clinics provide clients with a private room (en-suite) & full board included in the cost of their residential rehabilitation programme.

If you need to speak to someone right now for a confidential chat call us Freephone on 0808 258 2350 or email –



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