You can avoid common addiction triggers with coping skills you learn in rehab. The first step includes understanding your personal triggers and how to counteract them. At Crestview Recovery, you can receive the care you need through outpatient or residential and inpatient treatment programs that put you on the road to recovery. In the meantime, pick up some valuable tips on how to address triggers to avoid relapse.
Common Addiction Triggers
You may have seen the acronym HALT before. It stands for everyday feelings that can leave you vulnerable to triggers and cravings. To cope with these common triggers, you can maintain a consistent routine to prevent them.
HALT stands for the following conditions:
- Hungry: When you get busy, it’s easy to skip a meal. Hunger makes some people irritable. To avoid unnecessarily increasing your stress levels, keep a healthy snack with you, and remember to eat nutritious meals.
- Angry: Don’t confuse feelings of frustration and anger with cravings to use drugs and alcohol. Instead, remember your coping skills from rehab. Taking a step back to look at the situation from different angles can help you calm down and walk away.
- Lonely: Join a support network to maintain accountability and build solid relationships. Being lonely leaves you vulnerable to drug and alcohol abuse.
- Tired: If you don’t get enough sleep, you may feel tired throughout the day. Low energy can bring on negative emotions. To counteract this trigger, get at least eight or nine hours of sleep every day during your recovery.
Understanding Addiction Triggers
Most triggers are avoidable, but some may be impossible to avoid altogether. The key is to identify your triggers and have a plan in place to deal with them when they arise.
If you are struggling with addiction, or are in recovery, it is important to be aware of the potential triggers that could cause you to relapse. Here are two common triggers to be aware of:
- People – Spending time with people who still use drugs or alcohol can be a major trigger for relapse. If you have friends or family members who use, it is important to distance yourself from them, at least until you are stronger in your recovery.
- Places – Certain places can also trigger cravings and cause you to relapse. This could be the place where you used to buy drugs, or the place where you used to drink. It is important to avoid these places if possible, or at least be prepared for the possibility of temptation when you are around them.
If you are struggling with addiction, it is important to be aware of the potential triggers that could cause you to relapse. By identify your triggers and having a plan in place to deal with them, you can increase your chances of remaining sober and continuing on your path to recovery.
Dealing With Stress
The common addiction triggers above all have one thing in common— stress. Stress often triggers a relapse when people turn to alcohol and drugs as a way to feel better. After rehab, you know that this temporary fix won’t solve your problems. You know how to work through stress thanks to exercises learned in recovery. Now, it’s time to put that to work in real life. Here are some tips for dealing with stress without relapsing:
- Stop to evaluate what you’re feeling
- Acknowledge the feeling without acting out or judging yourself
- When possible, remove yourself from a stressful situation
- If you can’t avoid a stressful person or situation, take a break. For example, you could go to the restroom or take a short walk if you have a conflict at work
Positive Activities that Reduce Stress
You can treat stress by engaging in positive activities that level out your thoughts and emotions. Developing go-to activities that calm you down quickly can prevent feelings of desperation that trigger a relapse.
You can reduce your stress by practicing the following activities:
- Practice meditation and mindfulness therapy daily. This helps you put things into perspective if something goes wrong.
- Manage your time wisely so that you don’t constantly feel rushed.
- Get enough sleep so that you have the energy to face challenges as they arise.
- Engage in healthy behaviors such as exercising and eating the right foods.
- Surround yourself with supportive people and disengage from stressful relationships.
Talk to a Therapist
During individual and group therapy sessions, you learn to listen to your emotions and thoughts. Sometimes, you need a listening ear after you return home as well. A counselor can help you work through situations that trigger feelings of hopelessness that can lead to drug or alcohol use in the following programs:
- Inpatient addiction treatment
- Outpatient addiction treatment
- Sober living
- Medical detox
Addiction Treatment in Oregon
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you may find yourself succumbing to the common addiction triggers. If you relapse, it’s time to get back into an addiction treatment program. There is no shame in asking for help, and our rehab counselors won’t judge you for making a mistake. Instead, we focus on the big picture and help you recommit to recovery. Contact Crestview Recovery at 866.262.0531 today for more information on a women’s rehab program or men’s rehab program in Oregon.
Since 2016, Dr. Merle Williamson, a graduate of Oregon Health Sciences University, has been the Medical Director at Crestview Recovery, bringing a rich background in addiction medicine from his time at Hazelden Treatment Center. He oversees outpatient drug and alcohol treatments, providing medical care, setting policies, detox protocols, and quality assurance measures. Before specializing in addiction medicine, he spent 25 years in anesthesiology, serving as Chair of Hospital Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and Chief of Anesthesia at Kaiser Permanente. This experience gives him a unique perspective on treating prescription drug addiction.