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Relapse Triggers

How to Identify Summertime Relapse Triggers

Addiction can be an extremely difficult condition to struggle with, and it can feel exhilarating to be able to finally achieve sobriety.  But, completing treatment and initially achieving sobriety is only the beginning of the journey.  There is much more to recovery than simply ceasing the use of substances, though this is one of the most major steps. The reality is that recovery can be difficult at times, and it can present a multitude of barriers and challenges. One of the biggest factors that individuals will have to learn how to manage and overcome is addiction triggers and relapse triggers.

What is a Trigger?

Addiction triggers are essentially any person, place, thing, situation, etc. that leads to the person craving a substance, or actually using it.  These can be detrimental to a person’s recovery if they do not know how to properly handle or avoid them.

One of the most frequent times that triggers can occur is during the summer months.  Events like social gatherings, music festivals, cook outs, and other types of get-togethers can be home to a multitude of triggers. Addressing relapse triggers consists of being able to properly identify and handle them.  Being able to identify them is somewhat senior in the beginning, simply because they cannot really be handled unless they are identified.

Potential Relapse Triggers

Identifying relapse triggers can be a bit difficult at first purely because they can be quite numerous.  A person needs to look at a multitude of different factors within their past and present that could potentially fit the characteristics of a trigger. For instance, the group of friends that a person frequently used with could be a trigger, especially if these friends are still using.  It is obviously ideal to avoid spending time with them if this is the case.  It could also be a spot that they frequently attended while using.

When it comes to triggers during the summer months, there are several different things to look for.  For one, there is the type of event that the person will be attending.  For instance, summer music festivals are essentially guaranteed to be riddled with drugs and alcohol, so it may be best to avoid these completely. Unless one has been sober for some time and can identify and handle their triggers, these events could be detrimental. But, at events like a barbecue or social party, it could be just avoiding those who are drinking or using drugs.

Negative emotions like depression, anger, or anxiety can be heavy triggers for some individuals.  Those who have relied on substances in the past can be tempted to use to block these types of emotions out.  When attending events in the summer months, one must learn to recognize people or situations that could bring rise to these types of emotions, such as an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, or a location that holds bad memories.  Exposing oneself to these factors can be risky if they cannot be immediately identified beforehand, as well as properly handled or managed.

Some individuals may choose to only attend events that avoid the use of substances.  This could include parties hosted by people within the recovery community where substances are not allowed.  This can be quite ideal, as it can minimize the risk of even having to worry about addiction and relapse triggers. A recovering individual could even host their own party, and invite friends that they have made within the recovery community, as again, this minimizes the risk.

Recovery can be an extremely exciting journey, but it can also contain hardship.  It is important that one is able to know their triggers so that they are better able to maintain their recovery.  And remember, summer can be a time of great fun, but there can also be situations or events that may not be worth the jeopardy you could be placing your recovery in.  Recovery and sobriety are two of the most important things in your life, and placing them in needless risk is not worth it.

When Searching for Treatment for a Drug or Alcohol Addiction

Struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol can be extremely despairing, as it can completely take over a person’s life.  They may have every part of themselves wanting to stop using, but they just cannot seem to be able to.  This is where an addiction recovery program can be of assistance.  Some may be of the mindset that they can do it on their own, but continually find themselves unable to overcome it.  Treatment can help a person to stop using their substance of choice, as well as address the underlying factors and difficulties that are contributive to their addiction.  There are a wide range of treatment options available across the country, and New Beginnings is here to help find the ideal fit for you or your loved one.  Take the first steps toward a new and sober life, and give us a call today.

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