Treatment is just one facet of battling addiction. It’s a huge accomplishment, to successfully complete a treatment program for addiction to drugs or alcohol, but the challenge really begins when you walk out of the treatment facility back into reality. Triggers can surprise us and set off cravings, even if we’ve been sober for years, and they can come in a wide variety of ways. People, places, even events and the emotions you feel daily can all be triggers that may give you or increase the urge to use drugs or alcohol.
Triggers are one of the hardest things about sobriety. While the cravings they bring usually only last for 10-20 minutes, they’re normally the number one cause of people relapsing into drug or alcohol use again. It’s exceedingly important to know how to control and manage triggers in order to succeed in sober living. Listed below are some ways you can work on managing your triggers.
- Take care of yourself – It’s far easier to handle triggers and unexpected cravings when you’re taking care of yourself. Eating right, sleeping well and getting exercise, along with taking care of your mental health, are all important when it comes to your well being. When you can acknowledge when you’re feeling tired or angry, you can take action rather than just reacting.
- Know your trigger plan – even if you have to just practice with yourself in the mirror, practice what you plan to do if the urge to use drugs or alcohol resurfaces. It may sound silly, but it will help you better manage the rough days, rather than relapsing into substance abuse.
- Make sure you know your triggers – Everyone’s triggers are different, and it’s important to be able to recognize what sets off cravings for you. It could be as simple as walking by a bar or getting paid, or being bored and feeling your thoughts drift to using. Knowing what triggers you helps you make better choices.
- Avoid denial – for people recovering from drug or alcohol addiction, triggers are just a fact of life. Telling yourself that you’ll never struggle with triggers or cravings is akin to burying your head in the sand. Don’t try to fool yourself into not preparing yourself for those triggers.
- Don’t push it – If walking by a bar or visiting a friend who drinks is something that you know will trigger cravings, then don’t test yourself. Pushing your boundaries before you’re ready will only potentially set you up for relapse.
Addiction can rob you of your health and your dignity. Our 5-week program at The Springboard Center treats the whole person, creating healing in mind, body, and spirit. Bringing together evidence-based treatments and trusted 12-step principles, our best practices create a quality, accessible treatment program serving the Permian Basin and beyond. Call us today for information on our availability: (432) 620-0255