You may have already begun your journey of fighting addiction by seeking help, whether it’s from an established addiction treatment program or you’re currently in the process of looking for addiction center locations. Whatever stage of recovery you are in, there are most definitely addiction triggers that surround you at all times. These triggers can derail your progress towards a healthier and happier life. On top of the help, you’re currently getting or looking to get, check out the following information about relapse prevention and some tips on avoiding addiction triggers.
What Are Triggers in Addiction?
Before diving into how to avoid addiction triggers, understanding what they are and what form they come in is the first step. Addiction triggers are anything physically, mentally and emotionally that will cause you to want to use the substance you are addicted to. They can cause you to relapse during recovery. Relapse is very common, and it’s important to understand that you are not alone in this. No one is perfect, and when you are fighting an uphill battle towards recovery, there are triggers all along the way that can make you want to use a substance to cope with overwhelming feelings.
List of Addiction Triggers
The following are some very common addiction triggers that may cause you to relapse:
Stress can be caused by just about anything, including relationships, financial burdens, and work. When stressors compound to a toxic level, it can spur someone to use their substance of choice to “de-stress” – which can become a vicious cycle.
Your environment, and the people, places, and things that surround you at all times, can be a major addiction trigger. You may be used to going to your favorite bar or hanging out with certain friends that are also experiencing substance abuse. These environments can promote your addiction. First off, being around the substance that you are addicted to will naturally create a tempting environment where the ease of access to the substance makes using that much easier. Additionally, people and places that include the substance you are addicted to may feel comforting at the moment, but while you are in recovery, they can be the worst for you.
Struggling with feelings of sadness or anger can trigger the use of a substance. Negative emotions can be triggered by certain people in your life or situations that make you feel helpless and lost. A substance only works to temporarily dull these emotions, but the consequences of using a substance to deal with emotions can lead to further addiction.
Times of celebration, like birthdays, holidays, and victories, often can trigger heightened emotions and a habit that calls for a celebration involving substances. They can promote the act of using a substance as a reward. While this may seem harmless, those struggling with addiction will need to retrain themselves and re-route their usual routines to cater to this type of triggering event that incorporates the use of the substance they may be addicted to.
Identifying Triggers in Addiction
The key to avoiding additional triggers is to be able to first identify these triggers and stay away from them. If you cannot avoid them, then replacing them with a healthier alternative or plan would be the next step. The following are some tips to avoiding addiction triggers.
1. De-stress with Healthy Habits
Instead of using a substance to deal with the stressors and stressful situations in life, make it an automatic response to replace it with a healthier habit. Some ideas include exercise, meditation, cooking, talking to a friend or family member that is supportive in your recovery or talking to a therapist. These activities can all help bring natural endorphins to the brain, which can help you de-stress without the use of any chemical substance.
2. Avoid Toxic Environments
Staying away from your local bar or from the friends you might often hang out with while using can be extremely hard. Try to be honest with the people around you and let them know how you are trying to fight your addiction. It can be a scary thing to acknowledge that you have a problem, but it can also liberating. Those that truly support you will help you stay away from the places and people that may trigger your addiction. Additionally, you can have a support network that holds you accountable. Perhaps it’s a friend or sponsors you to call to let them know what you’re up to. If your plans include getting yourself into situations where addiction triggers are present, that person can help guide you away from the situation, and just telling them also makes you accountable and keeps you focused on your goals.
3. Breathe and Practice Gratitude
Whenever you are overwhelmed with feelings of sadness, anger or other negative emotions, take a moment to recognize those feelings and then let them go. Focus on your breath to keep you present in the moment and exhale all the negativity out. You can also write down emotions and write down what you may be grateful for. Putting pen to paper can help you physically leave these emotions behind and look forward to the good things happening in front of you. Easier said than done though, right? The more you practice this way of coping instead of using a substance to cope with negative feelings the more you will realize how you don’t need the substance to deal with them.
4. Be Prepared for Celebrations
While you can opt to stay away from celebrations that include addiction triggers like the substances you use, it’s understandable that it can be really hard to say “no” to these often milestone events. If you can’t avoid them, try to prepare for them. If you have an alcohol addiction, for example, try making sure there are non-alcoholic beverages there as an option. Or, have someone who is in your circle and supportive of your recovery come with you to hold you accountable and stay sober with you as you celebrate.
Avoid Addiction Triggers with the Help of Aion Health
The aforementioned tips are just a few ways to stay away from addiction relapse triggers. It can be even more beneficial to pair these practices with the professional rehab services from Aion Health. Call for help at 888-912-2454 or contact us to speak with our admissions department. They will help you find a treatment program that fits your needs and gets you primed and ready to beat your addiction.