Triggers are people, places, or things that increase urges to use in an addict. Generally, the trigger ignites a particular emotion in the individual. Some common triggers include:
- drug dealers/users
- locations you used to do drugs at
- memories of trauma
- family members
You can avoid most triggers, but some may pop up without any warning at all. When you work hard to get clean, you don’t want to throw away the progress simply because you encountered a trigger. What are you supposed to do? Here are tips for handling triggers.
1. Avoid triggers when possible
You may not have control over every aspect of your life, but you do have control over most of it. Use the power you have to reduce the chance of running into triggers. Avoid drug dealers and people you used to do drugs with. It would help if you also avoided places with high drug use. This could mean missing out on some fun, but it’s far better than relapsing. You may not be able to avoid all triggers, but you can eliminate many of them with the right decisions.
2. Gain confidence
Many people use drugs because of low morale. A person may think that they are a loser anyway, so why not use drugs? It would help if you built your self-esteem. If you have high self-esteem, you will know you are better than a life of addiction. You will see that you have too much going on to allow you to relapse. Hopefully, that will help you when you encounter temptation.
3. Learn stress management techniques
We all have a lot of stress every single day. You need to be able to manage that stress effectively without drugs or alcohol. Many people use yoga and meditation. Other people find a creative outlet, such as playing guitar or painting. Still, other people use therapy.
4. Develop a support system
We all need a little support from time to time. That’s perfectly natural. Find the people in your life who are supportive and friendly when you need them. They should be people who build you up. They should also be people who understand your addiction in one way or another. When you encounter triggers, you should call someone from your support system to talk you out of making a wrong decision. If you don’t currently have someone who can fill this role, consider finding someone at rehab or in a support group.
5. Live a healthy lifestyle
If you are committed to a healthy lifestyle, you will be less likely to ruin your progress by relapsing. Start by eating well and exercising. This can also help you feel confident about yourself and improve your mood. It would help if you also quit any other bad habits you may have, such as smoking.
As an ex-addict, you will inevitably run into some triggers that might make you want to use it again. Don’t let it throw you off course. Instead, if you want to know how to deal with triggers, use these tips to handle the triggers safely.