The Importance of Managing Your Triggers

Addiction recovery is a complex journey that requires a conscious daily commitment to long-term recovery. If you are in recovery, learning to manage your triggers can greatly increase your chances for long-term recovery.

What is a trigger?

A trigger is an activity, event, place, person or emotional state that triggers one’s desire to enact in a particular behavior. We all have triggers in life that can lead to self-destructive behavior. But for an addict in recovery, triggers can signal a dangerous road to relapse. Triggers encourage the desire to use drugs and/or alcohol and decrease the individual’s ability to exercise willpower in certain situations. Identifying these triggers and re-associating them with healthy replacement behaviors is essential for long-term recovery.

Common Triggers for Addicts in Recovery

    • Stress:

      Stress plagues all of us. Learning to manage stress can greatly improve the quality of your life and give you the power needed to manage your triggers. Exercise is consistently the most effective way to relieve stress and care for oneself at the same time.
    • Memories:

      Memories are a powerful reminder of a different time and place. Reliving memories of a time when drug and/or alcohol abuse was your lifestyle will definitely trigger the ability to use again. It is important for you to manage the power you give to your memories. Don’t linger in the past. Keep your focus on the present, in the now, and focused on recovery.
    • Parties & Party People:

      Surrounding yourself with the same people you used to abuse drugs and/or alcohol with is a definite trigger for an addict in recovery and an unhealthy environment. Parties in general can also trigger the desire to abuse.
    • Drug Paraphernalia:

      Seeing drug paraphernalia can trigger the urge to abuse drugs just as alcohol bottles and happy hour (liquor, beer, wine) are triggers for the alcoholic.
    • Destructive emotions:

      When we feel bad about ourselves, we tend to do and say things that make us feel even worse. Anger, jealousy and resentment can be a familiar trigger and heighten the urge to abuse drugs and alcohol. Depression and anxiety also lead to self-destructive behaviors and tend to be a trigger for addicts.

  • Triggers are a part of daily life, just as is stress. When stress levels build up, the power common triggers have over you greatly increases. By managing your health and daily routines, you can maintain an ability to effectively resist the temptation that triggers present. Exercise, proper nutrition and rest are critical to your ability to function with a clear mind. Group meetings are also an essential support to help keep your focus on the continued journey and gift of recovery.

    At the Twelve Keys Recovery Center, we recognize that addiction recovery is a unique experience for each individual. We work with our clients to help them learn to manage triggers and life after rehab. We value the importance of After Rehab Care and strive to provide our clients with the tools and knowledge necessary to support long-term recovery efforts. For more information, please call 1-888-558-3019 or email us today.

    The Addiction Blog