Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Do You Know Your Personal Triggers?

Triggers are a very real part of addiction — and, unfortunately, they are seemingly everywhere. Whether external (people, places, things, situations) or internal (memories, thoughts, feelings), triggers hijack your brain and make you want to use again.

You can’t avoid them, but you can learn to identify your own unique triggers. This is a crucial step in relapse prevention.

For instance, does seeing an old drinking, drugging, or gambling buddy do it? Or, will stress from an argument with your partner or parent set you off? Maybe it’s the time of day when you used to drug, drink, masturbate, or do another compulsive behavior? The acronym “H.A.L.T.” — which stand for Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired — is often used to describe some of the more common situations that spark temptation.

13 Common Relapse Triggers 
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) cites the following as the most common triggers:

  1. Anniversary dates of losses or trauma
  2. Break-ups
  3. Loneliness 
  4. Being judged, criticized, teased, or put down 
  5. Financial or job worries 
  6. Frightening news events
  7. Feeling overwhelmed
  8. Family friction
  9. Exposure to things that make you feel uncomfortable
  10. Smells, tastes, or noises that remind you of using
  11. Physical illness
  12. Sexual harassment
  13. Being yelled at or being around someone who has treated you poorly 
Do any of these addiction triggers strike a chord with you? As part of your relapse prevention plan, it’s essential to jot them down and then identify the steps you’ll take to fight back. And don’t be afraid to talk to others about what has (and hasn’t) worked for them. Together, you can take action against any triggers that threaten your hard-won sobriety.

Aftercare for Lifetime Sobriety
Aftercare plans are invaluable additions to your recovery toolbox. At The Haven at Pismo, our team of addiction specialists will help you to develop relapse strategies to help you maintain sobriety once returning home. Call today: 805-202-3440.

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