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What Are Triggers?

Addiction, like diabetes or asthma, is a chronic disease.  While you may have finished treatment, you will always be in recovery.  The most important thing you can do to ensure you stay on the path of sobriety is to learn to identify the triggers that could lead to a relapse and guard against them accordingly.  Much like a person who is diagnosed with diabetes must learn to recognize the signs of low blood sugar, you will have to be able to listen to your body and recognize when it is telling you that you are at risk of relapsing.  Triggers can be either external or internal.  The easiest of these to identify and avoid will be the external triggers.  External triggers can include:


People who could trigger a relapse can include friends you previously used with, former dealers, or others that may not understand what you are going through.  The best way to avoid people as an external trigger is to surround yourself with people who understand and want to help you maintain your sobriety.


Places that could trigger a relapse could be locations you previously used, former bars that you once hung out at, or even the homes of people you used with.  Avoiding places that may trigger a relapse can be difficult.  It may only take something as innocent as walking past your favorite pub to activate your addiction brain.  Alter your route to and from work in order to avoid passing some of your old hangouts.  Try to plan your routes to avoid any places that may make you want to use again, especially early in your recovery.


Things can be difficult to avoid as some of them can be very common items.  Perhaps seeing an image or scene on tv, a commercial for your favorite alcohol, empty pill bottles, old furniture, even something as simple as a lighter can spark the nostalgia and cause you to reminisce on your past drug or alcohol use.


There are many situations that may trigger a relapse.  These can be stressful situations at work, listening to certain music, periods of isolation, or watching certain tv shows/movies.  Try to plan out your days and evenings ahead of time so that you can intentionally avoid situations that could trigger a relapse.  Somethings may be unavoidable, like stress at your job, but by communicating with the people you trust you may be able to limit exposure to these situations.

Detox is the first step in the journey to recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol. The Gardens Wellness Center is redefining the way we approach detox and treat those who are detoxing. Our comfortable environment, encouraging program, and engaging amenities set us apart from other detox centers. Call us today for information:  (844) 325-9168