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The importance of recognizing addiction triggers

When you suffer from drug addiction or alcoholism, it’s a life-changing step to commit to addiction treatment and begin the path to recovery. Whether you attend an inpatient or outpatient rehab, the support you receive there can help you to regain your self-confidence and take control of your life. It’s crucial, however, to work on recognizing your triggers so as not to trip up once you leave rehab. Preparation can be the key to preventing a relapse when life’s challenges inevitably arise.

Identify moments that might be triggering

When you’re actively working to maintain your sobriety, it’s important to anticipate situations that could throw you off track. For instance, if you enter into a new relationship, it’s likely that you will experience a range of emotions from incredible highs to upsetting lows. However, if you know that relationships have proved triggering for you in the past then you can make a plan in advance to help you deal with periods of high tension, such as disagreements or difficult breakups.

On the other hand, you might find that it’s certain places or events, such as a restaurant or family gathering, that prove triggering. It could also be incidents that are harder to predict, such as critical comments. Whatever your personal concerns, it’s imperative that you anticipate these situations so that you can control your immediate response.

Have a game plan for those difficult times

Firstly, it’s crucial that you don’t socialize in environments that will make drugs and alcohol easily available to you. During triggering moments, it’s helpful to turn to a predesigned list that can guide your next actions. You could talk to a trusted individual about your feelings, whether that’s a sponsor, therapist, or loved one, as well as attending a meeting.

Alternatively, you might choose a calming and restorative activity, such as gardening, taking a hot bath, going to a yoga class, or meditating to recenter yourself. These activities can help you to focus on something tangible outside of your emotions. Another tip is to read positive affirmations that you wrote out beforehand in order to build up your confidence.

Unlike many physical illnesses, recovery from drug addiction and alcoholism is a lifelong process. However, the ability to recognize your personal triggers will help you to maintain your commitment to sober living during the most challenging times.