How To Handle Unhealthy Triggers: Top Tips From Recovery Experts



The journey from addiction to recovery is like a roller coaster ride. If you have ever been on this journey, you will know what we mean.

You might find one day to be highly productive and easy sailing days. And sometimes, the same thing can make me feel overwhelmed that it becomes hard to barely make it through the day.

During the journey towards recovery, the uncertainty and success rate of the recovery process are decided by the triggers.

Triggers are the elements that make the patients remember the old days when they first tried alcohol or drugs. In that context, a trigger can be anything from places, people, events to flashback memories and old habits.

Triggers are the most common challenge for an individual to overcome while recovering and sometimes are the main reason behind relapses.

Having said that, it is important that you understand what triggers are and how you can avoid them to maintain a steady recovery.

What Are Triggers?

An addiction trigger is an environmental, emotional, or social stimulant that drags up the memories from the past. These memories can stir up your emotions and conscience and lead to impulse use of the substance again.

No, triggers do not lead to relapses all the time!

But, they do make it difficult for the patients to follow up with their recovery process.

Addiction is not a behavior; it’s a chronic disease. Hence, it needs to be treated as one. The first step towards addiction treatment is detoxification. This is generally done by support groups or detox centers.

While the treatment is in the process, the support group ensures avoiding triggers. Triggers are the cues that immediately flip the switch and leave the patients craving alcohol and drugs.

If you are trying to recover from your addiction, you must focus on avoiding these triggers.

How To Avoid Triggers: Steps Towards Complete Recovery

Addiction doesn’t have to be a life sentence!

However, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to treat addiction. It takes contact management and enhanced awareness to maintain your sobriety.

When you leave the rehab center program, you enter a new life. You might think that you have recovered completely and might go back to your old habits. This exposes you to several risks.

These risks involve triggers that can leave you craving the same thing you want to avoid.

Here we have listed down a few strategies to help you avoid addiction triggers.

1. Identify Your Triggers

Let’s start with identifying the triggers. Not all triggers are the same for different individuals. Everyone has different triggers.

Some people will have triggers in the form of pace as they have spent most of their time in that place. At the same time, some might have triggers in the form of a person.

Hence, it is important to understand your mental health and what acts as triggers. Knowing the things that can trigger your craving will help you avoid them.

For instance, parties act like your trigger. If you know this very well, by simply avoiding parties, you can prevent your craving from surfacing.

2. Ask For Support From Friends & Families

One of the most powerful tools we have in our recovery toolkit is our friends and family. When people are struggling with addiction, they find themselves alone. This demotivates them as they lose their goal.

However, if the person has family and friends by their side, they know people are waiting for them to recover. This fills them with motivation.

3. Develop Coping Mechanism

It might be an obvious thing to say, but we still wanted to add it here.

Developing a coping mechanism to suppress your craving might be helpful. For example, if you have friends who love to drink, you might like to add a little bit of distance between you two. The best way to do that is to find sober friends.

While most people might not understand why you are making these adjustments, people who truly care for you will appreciate your effort.

That’s what matters!

4. Stay Connected To Your Treatment Program

Treatment programs are not one-time things. Most people think that after completing the treatment program, its purpose is over.

– However, that is not the case.

– The treatment program is there to help you whenever you are in need.

Your treatment program wants you to succeed with your recovery and hence offer all kinds of recovery programs, tools, and instruments. Do not neglect their support network; they are there to help you with your addictive triggers.

Different Types Of Triggers

Talking about triggers – it can be divided into stem categories: Internal and External.

Internal: Internal trigger spark from within the patients. The reason for the spark is the emptiness they feel. The patients spend most of their time thinking about their current situation and how others will see them. These internal processes can be a huge trigger.

Here are a few examples of internal triggers.

  • Emotions.
  • Thoughts.
  • Old memories.

External: External triggers are generally related to the outside stimulus. This can be related to the place, situation, people, or any other factor that originates away from the patients.

Specific examples for external triggers looks like:

  • Places.
  • Smell.
  • Sound.
  • Cash.
  • Music.
  • Movies.
  • Events.

Fortunately, there are many ways to cope with the triggers. We have already listed the strategies to avoid triggers affecting your recovery process.

Words Of Encouragement!

Addiction doesn’t mean – End Of The world!

You can see this as an opportunity to mold yourself into the type of person you have always wanted to be. You have all the resources and help; you just need to show courage to face your shortcomings, accept your faults and take the right steps to correct your mistakes.

That’s all you need to do!

The rest will be taken care of by themselves.

Yes, do not forget about the triggers we discussed here. Avoid them at all costs to fasten your recovery process.

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