Coming In Contact With The Drug
Reminders of your addiction can trigger a relapse, even something as small as a whiff of cigarette smoke or watching others enjoying a few cocktails. Such reminders might feel like they are everywhere in the beginning stages of your recovery. However, recovery is not just about quitting. Recovery is about creating a new life for yourself and making healthier choices for yourself.
Remember the negative consequences from the time you used. For example, people may have been hurt, and relationships may have been lost. You might think that you want to use it again, but it brought a lot more heartache in reality. Instead, create a plan for a healthier behavior to replace the old habits. Things like yoga or other physical activities are great alternatives. You might even enjoy taking a nice relaxing bath or going for a walk and listening to music.
Tips for coming in contact with the drug:
- If you are afraid of coming in contact with the drug, avoid people who use it or places where it is used.
- Practice staying sober for even one day at a time to ensure that relapse does not become an option again.
- Try using different coping skills when dealing with stress and negative emotions so that these feelings do not lead to a craving.
Lean On Your Support System
If you’re part of a support group, make time to attend a few extra meetings during the holidays to stay on track. If you need help finding a support group, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence offers a list of organizations you can contact. Stay close with helpful friends and family and those youve met during your recovery journey, and understand that your friends who abuse substances may have to celebrate without you this year.
Pull In Others For Help
For some people, addiction triggers relate specifically to people. Being around the actions of one person can cause you to lose track. When a person or a persons action is causing you to feel the trigger building, recognize the need to turn to someone for help. Whether you need to reach out for support from your addiction treatment center, a sponsor, or a close friend, dont wait to get guidance and help.
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All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.
Theresa is a Certified Addiction Professional , a Certified Behavioral Health Case Manager by The Florida Certification Board, and a Certified International Alcohol and Drug Counselor by The International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium . Theresa is also a Certified Professional Life Coach and volunteers at a local mental health facility helping individuals who struggle with homelessness and addiction.Theresa is a well-rounded clinician with experience working as a Primary Addiction Counselor, Case Manager and Director of Utilization Review in various treatment centers for addiction and mental health in Florida, Minnesota, and Colorado. She also has experience with admissions, marketing, and outreach. Eager to learn, Theresa is currently working on her Masters Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. As a proud recovering addict herself, Theresa understands first-hand the struggles of addiction. There is no limit to what Theresa is willing to do to make a difference in the field of Addiction!
Dealing With Addiction Triggers Try These Coping Skills
Encountering addiction triggers on the road to recovery is inevitable. This is even true for individuals that have maintained their sobriety long-term after addiction treatment. Although there are many ways to handle addiction triggers, healthy coping skills are going to be important for growth.
The reality is that learning how to deal with triggers, and being able to do so effectively, requires constant dedication. Both dedication toward the life you want to experience sober, and the emotional and psychological wellbeing that holds it together. By making a plan that works for you and sticking with it, you can set beneficial goals for your future.
Even though not all substance abuse triggers are universal, some are inevitable. Rehab counselors, therapists, and those that have faced addiction before you, offer valuable coping skills for dealing with addiction triggers. Check out some of the most common temptations are, and how to deal with triggers that threaten sobriety.
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The Importance Of Identifying Triggers
A trigger is any form of stimuli that initiates the desire to engage in addictive behavior. During the course of a recovery program, triggers may prompt an individual to slip-up and use a substance or engage in a behavior that they otherwise are trying to avoid.
Triggers are associated with a memory or situation that relates in some way to prior substance abuse behaviors. As someone struggles with addiction, the people they interact with, the places they spend their time and in some situations their place of work can become strongly associated with their addictive behavior.
Effects Of Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms
Unhealthy coping skills may seem harmless at first, but they always have negative consequences. Whether its a certain frame of mind, response patterns, or actual habits, they will always end up providing temporary solutions to problems that can worsen later on.
Common effects of unhealthy coping mechanisms when suffering from addiction are:
Thankfully, these effects can be reversed when one decides to break free from unhelpful patterns and mindsets. Below are some examples of healthy coping mechanisms that can lead you steps closer to addiction recovery.
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Remember The Negative Consequences Of Relapse
The consequences of giving in to cravings can be severe, and it could mean losing your last chance of a good life away from alcohol or drugs. What usually happens when you experience cravings is your thoughts will become muddled, but you can regain your control by remembering why you have committed to recovery. It is a great help if you have some type of letter to yourself, so you can be reminded of the dangers or relapse you should take this letter with you wherever you go because you never know when you are going to need it.
Healthy Coping Methods For Trigger Management
An essential step to identifying triggers and managing them is to be self-aware. This will allow the individual to recognize the force that drives them into that behavior and control the trigger before it becomes a reason to relapse. Some popular methods to effectively manage your triggers include:
- Exercise daily
- Dieting with only nutritional meals
- Positive and constructive activities
- Controlling negative attitudes or perceptions
These practices will allow the individual to focus and keep their mindset on the present moment. When practicing healthy ways to manage triggers, you can detach from any painful or stressful situations that may create triggers.
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Underlying Psychological Triggers Can Lead To Relapse
Another important concept to consider when coping with addiction triggers is their impact on our mental health. Not only is addiction itself considered a psychological illness, it often goes hand-in-hand with others, being masked by withdrawal symptoms. In rehab terms, this is called having co-occurring disorders.
What makes co-occurring disorders important, on the topic of emotional triggers in recovery, is the necessity for proper treatment. Undiagnosed or mismanaged psychological illnesses, such as a substance use disorder and depression, have been found to trigger the other. For example, the feelings of sadness or hopelessness were often seen in individuals suffering from depression, could prompt desires to self-medicate
How Do People Cope With Addiction
In some instances, substance use isnt considered coping mechanism anymore, rather, it turns into a problem in itself. It can permeate every area of an individuals lifetheir responsibilities at work, school, their health, and even how they deal with others. Suffering from addiction is a very personal issue, that some people may choose these common maladaptive coping skills:
- Ignoring the issue: Theres no problem at all.
- Minimizing the addiction: Its not that bad, some people have it worse than me.
- Isolation: Its better to keep it to myself.
- Justifying the problem: I have so many things going on, and this is my way of making myself feel better.
- Bandwagon: Everyone else around me is doing it, why cant I?
The goal of seeking professional help is reducing these maladaptive mindsets and replacing them with better skills for dealing with addiction urges. Essentially, it is best to know what kinds of coping mechanisms are helpful in addiction recovery by differentiating between the two main types.
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What To Do In Case Of A Relapse
Relapse is not synonymous with failure. It helps to compare addiction relapse to relapse in other chronic conditions. A person with diabetes will often relapse due to poor eating behaviors, for example. If someone with diabetes relapses, they havent failed. They just have to reset, practice healthy eating and get their blood sugar under control with the help of their doctor.
Addiction relapses are similar in that the individual needs to seek treatment to get back on track. To overcome withdrawal symptoms, most people need some form of detoxification or withdrawal management service. A long-term, severe relapse might require residential treatment, while people with prior experience in a treatment program may do well with outpatient therapy. Whatever the course of treatment, it will involve the person identifying the reasons they relapse and learning what steps to take to prevent it in the future.
If you or someone you know relapses, the most important thing to do is ensure safety. Drug and alcohol tolerance may decrease in recovery, so someone who has been sober for months and uses the same amount of a substance they used before treatment may be at risk of overdose. If you suspect overdose is possible, call 911 right away. If the relapse does not seem life-threatening, contacting a sponsor, therapist or trusted loved one is the next thing to do.
How To Avoid These Triggers
The key to avoiding relapse triggers is being prepared. This means knowing how you typically deal with difficult situations and emotions so that when they do happen, its easy for you to stay on track without feeling tempted by substances again. Being attentive to your feelings and taking action towards improving them can be helpful during this process.
You should also try working out what types of activities help you feel better to build a list of healthy alternatives. If boredom often leads you back to drugs or alcohol, getting involved in new projects will give your mind something to focus on besides cravings. At the same time, exercise might relieve some tension from negative emotions too.
You might also find it helpful to surround yourself with positive people who are not using substances themselves because they will understand you easier without triggering a desire in you to do the same. You could try some new hobbies or meet up with friends so that your daily routine is kept exciting and doesnt drag on too long, which can cause problems.
Remember, its about learning from these experiences when they happen and making changes where necessary. Just keep in mind that recovery takes time, but eventually, things should improve as long as you continue moving forward one step at a time towards sobriety instead of looking back at what once was.
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How To Identify Substance Abuse Triggers And Cope With Cravings
Cravings for our favorite things are common and one of the many things that makes us human. But if youre someone in recovery from a substance use disorder, cravings for drugs or alcohol can come on strong, throwing a wrench into your attempt to avoid relapse.
Cravings are caused by triggers that provoke memories and feelings linked to substance use. And while some substance abuse triggers are unavoidable, like a scene popping up in a movie of people using drugs or drinking, identifying and putting a plan in place to address them will help you cope with these cravings.
Before you can come up with a way to stop your cravings, you need to understand whats going on when you experience them.
Coping With Triggers In Recovery 4 Tips To Help You
One of the most important aspects of recovery from substance addiction is what how a person deals with relapse triggers. The first year is the highest risk period, with studies revealing that 40 to 60 percent of people in substance use disorder cases return to their substance abusing ways. What are the best methods for coping with triggers in recovery and beating the statistics? Well explore the common drug addiction triggers and look at tips for maintaining abstinence.
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Unhealthy Coping Skills: What Feeds Your Triggers
Coping skills are techniques you use during the moment to deal with a stressful or difficult situation. Coping skills may not solve long-term problems, but theyll assist with your deal with painful experiences, thoughts, or triggers that happen throughout the day.
Positive coping skills will help you at the moment and will improve your overall quality of life if practiced frequently.
Dont expect perfection while trying a new coping skill developing these skills will take time. Stay committed by strengthening them and continuously seek new coping skills that are out of your comfort zone. Once established, youll live a happier and healthier lifestyle with a sense of control in those difficult situations that may arise.
Start Each Day With A Plan To Fend Off A Relapse
An alcoholic needs to wake up each morning thinking about how to stay sober that day, says Peter R. Martin, MD, a professor of psychiatry and pharmacology and director of the Vanderbilt Addiction Center at the Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. Once they have a plan, they should be fine for the rest of that day. The key is staying focused on your goal of sobriety.
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Perceived Lack Of Control Triggers Drug Addiction Relapse
Everyone needs to feel that they are in control of their lives. However, many in recovery confuse being in control of their own lives and controlling the lives of others. If someone doesnt do something that you want, it doesnt mean that you have a lack of control in your life. If someone asks you to do something that you dont want to do, they may not be trying to control you. The struggle for perceived control can be all-consuming and cause problems that end in relapse.
If you recognize the emotions above as common reactions in your life, relapse may be an issue. Relapse is common for people in recovery, but there is help available. In one of our next posts, we will look at how to handle those triggering emotions so that they dont result in relapse and the need to return to drug rehab. Check back!
For now, if you or someone you love is struggling with drug abuse, please contact our admissions coordinators at our toll-free, 24 hour helpline today. We want to help you begin a new life away from drugs and help fight relapse triggers. Please call now.
New Jobs And Promotions
Its not just negative events that can result in addiction relapse triggers. Getting a new job or earning a promotion can trigger a relapse in a couple of different ways. For one, you might be tempted to use again just this once as a means of celebrating. Planning sober festivities is one good way to stay on track.
There is also the stress and pressure associated with new or greater responsibilities. Having to learn new skills and perform well in a new role can lead to anxiety and stress.
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How To Deal With Relapse Triggers
Although the number of possible relapse triggers is quite long and may seem insurmountable, there are many ways to deal with them that can help keep you on the straight and healthy path to the wonderful life free of drugs and alcohol that you seek. First and foremost, as mentioned at the beginning of this post, it is important to be aware of these triggers identification of them is the first step to avoiding them. Once you have recognized a trigger, recommit to your recovery efforts. You can do this mentally, verbally, or in writing, but reminding yourself that you are on a good path now, and why you have chosen that path, can help immensely. If you feel yourself slipping, call your sponsor or go to support groups, and be conscious of whether your recovery plan or other tools have stopped working, and take steps to adjust accordingly. If possible, work one-on-one with a therapist to address possible triggers and how to deal with each one. Engage in activities that make you feel good and remind you of your recovery like journaling, exercise, meditating, yoga, flotation therapy, and positive self-talk. If you encounter a potential trigger, immediately redirect your attention on positive actions. Most of all, stay focused on your recovery and know that you have made the right choice in seeking a healthier life.
Common Addiction Relapse Triggers In Recovery
You hear it many times in treatment and from people who are successfully living sober: addiction recovery is a process. Even after youve completed a treatment program and have maintained your recovery for weeks, months or even years, you will sometimes have to cope with drug cravings. A person, place, object or situation that cues a drug craving is called a trigger, and learning how to handle triggers is an essential part of a successful recovery.