If someone manages to finish a treatment program for addiction or substance abuse, they’ve accomplished something major. With that said, the most difficult work is yet to come. From this point on, a person must commit to abstain from alcohol and drugs on a daily basis.
It’s likely that individuals will be tempted to return to old habits. The stresses of life can leave people desperate for an escape or a way to numb their feelings.
Seeing certain people, experiencing stressful events, and experiencing strong emotions can all be triggering. It’s normal for people to want to use drugs or alcohol during recovery. How can people cope? Of course, you can always return to addiction counselling should you need to.
These five suggestions will help people to manage potential triggers during recovery:
Find Out What Your Personal Triggers Are
No two people are exactly alike, which is why not all addicts have the same triggers. There are a number of common triggers, such as boredom, seeing other people drinking or using drugs, arguing with another person, hitting the end of a workweek, or having the money to buy drugs.
Be Aware Of The Situation
A lot of people assume they won’t have to deal with cravings or triggers after completing recovery. However, it can be dangerous to assume that you won’t experience your struggles. It’s better to be aware of potential triggers and understand that you may be put in situations that catch you off guard. Have a plan in place so that you can deal with these situations in a healthy way.
Form A Trigger Plan And Practice It
Spend some time roleplaying what you would do if you’re tempted to use drugs or alcohol. You don’t need another person for this; you can do it when you’re alone. When you’ve already practiced your reaction, it will be easier for you to deal with tough situations when they hit.
It’s easier to cope with triggers when you’re getting the sleep you need, sticking to a healthy diet, paying attention to your feelings, and making sure you get enough exercise. You may have heard of H.A.L.T.: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. All of these four things can lead to both lapses and relapse.
If you take better care of yourself, you’ll be more aware of when you’re feeling these four things. This means you’ll be able to address your needs. Instead of reacting negatively to these feelings, you can take action and stay in control of a situation. Even if a trigger has an emotional impact on you, you don’t have to take action. If you notice that you’re hungry, you can get something to eat. When you’re tired, you can get some rest. If you’re lonely or angry, you can contact a friend, family member, or your sponsor so that you have someone to talk to.
Try To Avoid Testing Yourself
If seeing a bar can be triggering for you, you should not go by a bar to confirm that you’ve made progress in your recovery. It’s possible that you will be able to resist going into the bar. However, the experience can still be triggering. You might experience another trigger later on, and you might be pushed to go back to that bar.
Testing yourself is pointless. If you’re familiar with your triggers, understand the situation, have a plan in place, and make sure you’re taking care of yourself, you’re on the right path. You’ll be able to continue recovering from addiction.