One of the biggest obstacles that people struggling with addiction face in their road to recovery is the triggers that suddenly cause difficult-to-suppress urges to use substances again. It might be seeing old friends or acquaintances, or experiencing certain types of stress. These triggers differ for everyone, but it’s important that anyone fighting to recover from addiction knows what these triggers are so they can better develop plans to fight against them.
Identifying triggers to help you achieve sober living in Phoenix, AZ can be difficult, as they might not necessarily have a direct physical effect on your body. There are physical and psychological triggers you must consider.
Physical triggers, for example, can manifest themselves in the form of tightness in your stomach or feelings of nervousness or anxiety coursing through your body. Psychological triggers can result in thinking about how good you’d feel from using drugs or alcohol, remembering periods of use in the past, planning to obtain or purchase substances or general feelings that you absolutely need that substance.
Managing and preventing your triggers
The best way to prevent triggers from affecting you is to avoid them entirely. However, this isn’t always realistic, so it’s important that you have plans to manage those triggers should you experience them. Your first step should be to get rid of all substances in your house and place of work, cut out friends or acquaintances who enabled your habit from your life and from social media, and avoid going to places where you know people will be using, such as bars or parties.
If you do find yourself exposed to some of your triggers, here are some ways you can manage them:
- Distract yourself: While your mind is focused on other things, it’ll keep you from thinking about using. Read a book, play a video game, go get some exercise or clean your house. Find something constructive to do to distract yourself for as long as necessary.
- Talk it out: It can be helpful to talk through your triggering experience with a sponsor, loved one or trusted friend so you can process how the trigger affected you and brainstorm how you can prevent being in that same situation again.
- Change your mindset: Changing how you think about using can help you change the thoughts involving your trigger. For example, forcing yourself to remember the bad things that happened when you used versus the good feelings can be an effective strategy.
- Medications: There are some circumstances in which doctors will prescribe medications for people with strong urges to use. Different types of addictions have different medications. You should always talk to a doctor first before deciding medication is your best option.
Having a plan in place can prevent triggers from causing a relapse. However, relapse is still possible even if you do everything right—it’s important to remember that relapse is not failure, but just another hurdle to overcome. For more tips about sober living in Phoenix, AZ, contact Advanced Sober Living today.
Categorised in: Clean and Sober Living
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