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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Have You Identified Your Triggers?

An important part of rehab is learning to safeguard your sobriety once treatment ends. And this means learning to understand and identify triggers. 

This step is crucial for lasting sobriety – and it’s perhaps your best defense against relapse. Triggers are a very real part of addiction and they can’t always be avoided. 

What Is a Trigger?
Think of triggers as temptations – or people, places, things, situations, memories, or feelings that make you want to use again. For instance, does seeing an old drinking buddy make you want to drink? Or, perhaps an argument with a loved one results in a craving? The acronym “H.A.L.T.” – which stand for Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired – is the term used by many addiction experts to describe some common situations that spark temptation. 

Create Your Trigger Action Plan 
As part of your relapse prevention plan, it’s essential to identify your unique personal triggers.

Start by asking yourself the following questions:
  • What were you feeling the last time you had a craving?
  • What were you doing the last time you had a craving?
  • Who were you with the last time you had a craving?
  • Were you trying to numb uncomfortable feelings or negative emotions?
  • Did you feel pressured by peers or loved ones?
  • What was your stress level?
Next, you'll need to jot down your answers and come up with a plan of how to counteract these influences in healthier ways. For example, if your triggers are stress-related, you’ll need to figure out new sober ways to ease these feelings of anxiety. And don't be afraid to ask others about what has (and hasn't) worked for them.

Don't wait until it's too late. If you feel yourself slipping, take time to slow yourself down and think about what kind of triggers you may have encountered. This is also the time to lean on your support network by calling a sponsor, counselor or loved one or attending therapy or a local support group. Together, you can prevent triggers from destroying 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.