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Dealing with Common Triggers in Addiction Recovery

man discusses addiction triggers with therapist

It is estimated that more than half of people who receive treatment from addiction will eventually relapse. While a relapse in the midst of recovery shouldn’t be considered an irreparable failure, it is important to use every resource to prevent the pain that comes from experiencing the setback of relapse. A common pitfall of people in early sobriety is to become too confident in their ability to respond well when triggering people, places, and circumstances inevitably present themselves. Learning how to avoid and successfully manage common triggers is a critical tool in maintaining sobriety and mental wellness during recovery.

Emotional Triggers

While those in early sobriety may be the most vulnerable to triggers, even people who have been sober for years can suddenly begin to crave drugs or alcohol again due to emotional or environmental cues. It is important to carefully assess the reasons you once used substances, and use that knowledge to inform your trigger prevention practices going forward. For example, if you often used drugs or alcohol to numb negative emotions such as depression or anxiety, you should focus on cultivating new coping skills and make a plan for when you begin to feel emotionally agitated. A therapist or addiction counselor can help you to work through real-life scenarios during which you can discover other ways to manage negative emotions.

Environmental Triggers

Many people are triggered to drink or use drugs by their environment. Places, such as bars or nightclubs, situations, such as parties or concerts, and people, such as friends you once got drunk or high with, should all be avoided entirely when you feel your sobriety is still in a fragile state. Even once you are feeling secure in your ability to turn down substances when they are offered to you, it is a good idea to expect to be triggered in every situation, and have a plan for when that moment arises. Call your sponsor, find a sober buddy, or leave the situation entirely if you ever feel your sobriety is threatened.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, now is the time to reach out for help. At Arbor Behavioral Healthcare, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals who understand addiction in all its forms. The Arbor uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, and at The Arbor, you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan. We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit so you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us today at 844-413-2690.