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Addiction is often a condition that a person struggles with for an extended period of time.  It usually begins as recreational behavior, or maybe even just use for medicinal reasons, but then it can often develop into more compulsive behavior.  This is when it becomes an addiction.  This compulsive behavior can often become associated with different social, personal, environmental or emotional stimuli.  These stimuli can then become what are called triggers.

A trigger is quite a common term in addiction recovery.  It is essentially defined as stimuli which bring about the desire to engage in substance abuse.  Triggers can become quite strong the longer that a person is struggling with their addiction.  And the reality is that triggers can be extremely detrimental to a person’s recovery and sobriety if they are not handled appropriately too, as they can prompt a person into a slip-up or relapse, or behave in ways that they have worked to get rid of.

Common Types of Triggers

Each individual’s triggers can vary widely depending upon their different circumstances, but they are generally associated with some memory or situation that is linked to past substance abuse or addictive behavior.  Over the course of a person’s addiction, many different things can become heavily connected to their substance abuse.  While triggers can vary, there are more common ones like:

  • People
  • Locations
  • Smells
  • Environments
  • Stress

Learning to manage addiction triggers is one of the most important things that a person can do because they can destroy or detriment a person’s progress in recovery if they are not handled properly.  There tends to be a large focus on the handling of triggers in treatment programs because of this.

As stated earlier, triggers are very personal to each person, and they can also be numerous.  A largely important and first step needed before addiction triggers can be managed is identifying what they are in the first place.  The different types of triggers can be hidden on different levels of difficulty to detect too.

  • Social Triggers – These are often quite easy to identify, though there can be many different social triggers. For instance, seeing an ex-lover, associating with old connections or with fellow addicts, or seeing someone using a substance can be triggers for some people.  Though managing these types can be somewhat simple as far as avoiding old connections goes, choosing to make new friends can help to reduce contact and influence from these types of triggers.
  • Environmental Triggers – These can be some of the easiest types of triggers to identify. There can be a multitude of environments that can potentially be triggers for a person.  Fortunately, it is generally simple in most cases to just not go to those places.  Bars, neighborhoods, certain people’s homes, etc. can all potentially be triggers and can bring about those desires to use substances, which is why a person should work to stay away from them.
  • Emotional Triggers – Emotional triggers can be the harder ones to immediately identify. There can be several different emotions that can potentially be triggers for someone, such as anger, grief, loneliness, frustration, or anxiety.  Drugs and alcohol are far too often used as ways to avoid feeling these emotions, and such emotions can become triggers as well.  So, the management of one’s personal emotion state is important for a person in recovery.  Whether it be anger management, breathing exercises, etc. all of these can help them to handle their emotions.

Overall trigger management is doable, and while there can be many triggers in a person’s environment, when they have a plan and can manage them correctly, they can protect their recovery.  It is generally unavoidable to happen to bump into a person from your addiction past, to get upset, or maybe even have to go to a place that may be best to avoid.  But there are several things you can implement to help manage these circumstances.  For instance, creating an exit plan, such as pre-made reasons that you must leave an environment.  Also, having other measures in place such as having a support person you can call, journaling, art, or simply removing yourself from the non-ideal situation can help.  Remember, your recovery is the most important thing, and having implementations to protect that is critical.

When Seeking Help for a Drug or Alcohol Addiction

The disastrous consequences that can result from addiction can be numerous.  Addiction tends to only get worse the longer that it continues, which is why it is so crucial that those struggling receive treatment as soon as possible.  It can be difficult to overcome addiction, but with the right treatment center, it is not impossible to do so.  There are many different types of treatment and treatment facilities that can all help an individual to sort through their addiction and the different underlying factors and difficulties of it.  Our organization is here to help find you or your loved one the ideal fit in a treatment center among the sea of them across the nation.  Our staff is knowledgeable in treatment facilities, and expert at finding one that fits the needs and wants of the struggling individual.  Give us a call today and let us assist you or your loved one in taking the first step on the road to sobriety.

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