Recognizing—and Confronting—Your Triggers

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Addiction Triggers and Self-Empowerment

At Executive Recovery Center, we want to help you and your loved ones create a long-term recovery from substance abuse and addiction. This requires both an understanding of the issues that may potentially lead a recovering individual to relapse and the ability to recognize and confront your personal triggers. Are you interested in learning more about how you can learn to cope with your triggers, and empower yourself?

What Are Triggers?

Triggers are stimuli that can cause a recovering individual to experience a renewed craving for drugs or alcohol. After rehab, it is especially important to be aware of one’s triggers; a relapse can be deadly because of a minimized tolerance for the substance, especially in the case of opiate rehab. A trigger can be a smell, a sound, an object, a place, a person—almost anything that reminds an individual of their addiction, or something they associate with getting high or getting drunk.

How Do I Know What My Triggers Are?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most popular therapeutic options during addiction recovery, and many people respond well to it. As stated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, CBT is based on the idea that the learning process plays an enormous part in the formation of addiction, and can be utilized to treat this issue as well. Part of the process of CBT is to understand the reasons why a patient started using drugs in the first place and to recognize the stimuli that could cause them to return to this use.

With the help of a trained addiction counselor, you can begin to recognize the different things that may cause you to relapse, or at least experience cravings. These can include drug paraphernalia, places where you used or drank heavily in the past, or even people with whom you’ve used in the past. It is important to avoid all of these triggers early on in recovery, especially while the patient is fragile and going through withdrawal.

How Do I Confront My Triggers?

Everyone must learn to confront their triggers eventually, or they will always live in fear of one of them showing up without warning. Counselors help work patients through this process in a safe, controlled environment. Once the patient has recognized and accepted their triggers, they can begin to consider why these objects, places, etc. are so triggering. Then, they can discuss strategies for taking the power away from these triggers as much as possible.

In general, it is not recommended to face one’s triggers if unnecessary. Some individuals never return to trigger places or see people who could cause them to relapse. But these issues can be handled in addiction help programs that provide a safe area where one’s feelings can be explored.

In addition, programs that provide trauma-based therapy for individuals with dual-diagnosis also help patients confront their triggers safely. Some triggers may have nothing to do with one’s drug abuse but everything to do with a traumatic event the individual experienced in the past. In certain situations, these triggers can also lead to relapse, so it is important to be able to recognize and understand them.

Dealing with Your Triggers Your Way

Every patient needs an individualized plan for recovery, and the process of dealing with triggers is different for everyone. This is why it is so important to have a team of professionals, including doctors, nurses, and counselors, help you through your early recovery in a safe, controlled treatment facility.

At Executive Recovery Center, we are proud to offer a drug rehab and alcohol rehab program that engages with the roots of your addiction, and looks to help you live a normal life. Visit our Dual Diagnosis page to learn more about what programs we offer.

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