How to Manage Triggers During Drug and Alcohol Recovery

How to Manage Triggers During Drug and Alcohol Recovery

People don’t typically become addicted to substances just for the sake of becoming addicted. What usually starts as a casual habit can quickly become a full-fledged addiction through the process of constant abuse of substances as an alternative to dealing with people, places, or life events triggering addictive behavior.

Common Triggers Leading to Addiction

While the individual issues leading to addiction vary greatly from one person to the next, there are several general categories of triggers usually associated with each individual’s addiction problems:

  • People – Relationships and conflicts can create the need to use.
  • Places – This includes being around bars or in neighborhoods where drugs are prevalent.
  • Moods – Sadness, depression, anger and even elation can create the desire to use substances.
  • Stressors – Including issues at work, relationship problems, financial problems and problems with the kids.
  • Dates – This might include anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, or the death of loved ones.
  • Smell – The smell of certain foods, fire, alcohol, drugs, and people are all possible smells that might become triggers.

Learning About Triggers Through the Drug and Alcohol Recovery Process

In order for a drug and alcohol recovery process to be successful, addiction treatment must address the notion of triggers and provide the life skills and tools necessary to deal with them. In an addiction treatment facility like the Stepping Stone Center for Recovery, patients are treated with a wide range of treatment modalities focusing on educating them about these types of issues. Once one’s triggers have been identified, it becomes easier for counselors to devise treatment plans addressing them and then further educate patients about how to avoid or work around them. This is accomplished by addressing spiritual and nutritional needs, doing psychological assessments, looking at behavioral patterns, and providing individual and group therapy.

Managing Your Triggers During Drug and Alcohol Recovery

As patients will quickly learn, managing triggers during drug and alcohol recovery hold the key to continued abstinence. Here are five trigger management tips designed to help people avoid relapse issues.

  1. Face the Fact You Have Triggers – Most addiction problems are facilitated by triggers. Believing you have no triggers only stands to interfere with your ability to avoid them.
  2. Identify Them – You must know what you are dealing with at all times. Neglecting even one trigger can lead to a relapse.
  3. Manage Yourself – By sleeping and eating properly while getting plenty of exercise during drug and alcohol recovery, you can improve your ability to stay alert to the world around you.
  4. Develop Conscious Plans for Dealing With Triggers – For each trigger, you are able to identify, have a plan for either avoiding or coping with it. Practice these plans in your mind on a regular basis until they become instinctive.
  5. Don’t Test Yourself – Your triggers aren’t going away, so don’t tempt yourself.

When you’re ready to admit you need help, the Stepping Stone Center for Recovery is prepared to work with you to address all aspects of your addiction. By helping you identify your triggers, we can also help you develop the life skills you will need to keep your triggers from interrupting your drug and alcohol recovery. Call us today at 866-957-7298 to begin your journey back to sobriety.