In recovery, triggers are people, places, emotions, circumstances, or anything else that reminds you of your substance use. For instance, walking past a bar at which you used to drink might be a trigger. Addiction imprints a powerful memory of pleasure into your brain, so that anything related to your drinking or using days might lead to nostalgia and cravings.
In recovery, you learn to identify your triggers so that you can minimize them. You also learn healthy ways of coping if you come across a trigger. This can be going for a walk, meditating, calling a supportive friend, or any number of other things. Over time in recovery, you will likely develop a long list of healthy coping skills to which you can turn.
In discussions of triggers, people, places, and things are often mentioned. However, emotions are also a very common trigger. Stress, grief, sadness, or other difficult feelings can make people crave drugs or alcohol in the hopes of numbing out.
However, drinking and using drugs only blunts these emotions for so long—ultimately causing them to come back stronger. Chronically drinking and using drugs make strong feelings unmanageable. In recovery, you learn tools to manage your emotions without using substances.
If you are struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder, there is help and hope. Amatus Recovery Centers offers high-quality treatment for addiction and mental health disorders in facilities across the country. Our staff—many of whom are in recovery themselves—will help you cope with any trigger sober. Call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.