Being new in recovery can be a time full of hope and optimism. That is, until triggers kick in and threaten the new life you’re trying to build for yourself.
A trigger is any stimulus that causes you to want to drink or use drugs. Triggers can come in many forms, including:
Anything from running into an old friend who introduced you to drugs, to attending a party on New Year’s Eve can be triggers to use. No matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to escape all triggers for the rest of your life. But you can do things to keep a trigger from turning into a relapse.
There are three steps you can take for fighting triggers:
When you become aware that you want to use, the first thing to do is maintain a presence in the moment. Remember that something is making you want to use, and seek out what the source is. Identifying your enemy is the first step to fighting it.
Instead of bottling up the desire to use and trying to ignore it, reach out to someone and analyze the trigger. If you’re at a party and you feel yourself wanting to use, call your counselor, sponsor, or someone from your support group. Having someone to talk to who wants to help you through this desire to use can make a big difference.
Once the trigger has passed without you using, go back and look at the situation, how you were feeling, and all the details you can remember. After you’ve identified the trigger, you can take steps to avoid those triggering situations or circumstances.
Never underestimate the power of a trigger. A trigger isn’t always just a craving in which you want to use. A trigger can feel like a full-blown need to use. Some of the worst triggers can come from our own minds. Misery, self-loathing, and depression can take away your will to recover or be sober at all.
But triggers of the mind can be addressed, too. Maybe it’s time to contact your doctor to look into depression medication, or, if you are already on it, change your dosage. Maybe sticking to an exercise regimen will help keep your mood more regular. No matter how severe the trigger, there is always something you can do to fight it.
If you haven’t entered recovery yet, or have suffered a relapse, seeking treatment can get you on the right path. Banyan Treatment Center offers multiple levels of care for people looking to beat addiction. Learn more today about how our team of experienced recovery specialists can help you learn valuable relapse prevention techniques.