A trigger is anything that brings back thoughts, feelings, and memories that have to do with drug use. Often referred to as “people, places, and things” because the typical triggers usually fall into one of these categories, triggers are objects, situations, and even specific people that played a role in the recovering addict’s life during their drug and alcohol use and the mere thought or sight of these can evoke feelings of anxiety in the recovering addict, thereby “triggering” thoughts and cravings to use again.
5 Ways to Avoid Triggers: Avoid people places things
If possible, steer clear of any situations that may place you in the way of temptation. These situations can be either physical or emotional. Try to avoid going places where there will be substance use or where there will be reminders of times you used. Also try to avoid people or situations that can be emotional triggers.
5 Ways to Avoid Triggers: Develop a positive support network
Your social circles used to consist of “using buddies” but now, a good way to avoid triggers is to draw your supportive family members and friends closer to you now that you are recovering. Surrounding yourself with positive people who do not use and who are supportive of your sober lifestyle is a great way to be successful at sobriety while still in early recovery and even beyond. It is important to have healthy people who will be able to support you in your times of need. Sever unhealthy relationships and ties to unhealthy people. If necessary change your number, delete their numbers, block or delete them from social networking sites, and work on creating a new and healthier support network.
5 Ways to Avoid Triggers: Create a healthy schedule
Create a daily schedule that supports you in your program of recovery and stick to it. So, for example, your schedule could include times for therapy and meetings, necessary activities such as work or family time, activities of daily living, and free time. Creating a schedule is a great way to develop a new and healthy routine and will give you ways to avoid triggers to use again.
5 Ways to Avoid Triggers: Don’t get complacent
Complacency is dangerous to your sobriety. Many people are highly motivated after completing inpatient treatment to continue with an aftercare program or 12-step meetings. They also develop their support network and make other strides in their recovery. However, this motivation starts to dwindle over time. As progress continues, they no longer deem all of the recovery efforts necessary.
5 Ways to Avoid Triggers: Don’t view relapse as a failure
If you relapse, don’t view it as the ultimate failure. It is this type of thinking that will keep you sick. If you were able to stay clean and sober before, you will be able to do it again. Reach out to others and seek help. Begin working your recovery program again. Process the events and emotions that led to relapse so that they are not repeated. By processing these situations, you can learn from your mistakes. This will only help you in your journey in recovery. If you or a loved one is struggling with drugs or alcohol, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135. Palm Partners can help!