Health and Wellness

5 Steps for Avoiding Addiction Triggers

Many people learn that addiction shouldn’t be their life sentence through treatment. However, keeping addiction at bay requires a keen awareness sense and constant management.

When a person leaves an addiction treatment facility, they embrace their life to the fullest. That’s because good things start happening in their life. However, they must recognize the risks they will be facing every day.

Such risks include the situations or triggers that are likely to spur their relapse. The goal should be to avoid situations or triggers that may lead them to alcohol or drug use.

Avoiding high-risk scenarios is not difficult once a person has learned to recognize their existence.

A keen look at the most common situations and triggers can help a person avoid them. Some situations heighten the cravings for addictive substances.

Nevertheless, the ability to recognize them and take appropriate actions can prevent relapse and the future need for free drug addiction help. Here are 5 steps that a person can follow to avoid addiction triggers and head in a direction that will lead to their lifelong recovery.

Step #1: Identify Personal Triggers

People have unique triggers. Some people get drunk or high after being stressed. Others get drunk and high after being in a neighborhood that has a club. So, asking these questions should be the first step when it comes to avoiding addiction triggers:

  • When are thoughts of alcohol or drugs more prevalent?     
  • Which situations increase the chances of abusing an addictive substance?           
  • What’s the goal of using the addictive substance? Is it to forget responsibilities or release stress?          

After identifying triggers, planning a way to deal with them becomes easier. Ideally, learn to identify personal triggers and take appropriate action to avoid the risk.

Step #2: Avoid Stress

Research has shown that stress is a risk factor for addiction. It also increases relapse vulnerability for recovering addicts. But, human beings face stress every day.

People feel stress as it starts to creep up at school, work, and home. Eliminating all stress from daily life is almost impossible.

However, a person can recognize stress as it starts building up. Shoulders start tensing up while the head begins to pound. At this time, a person thinks about the best way out of a situation.

But, the best approach is to take actions that will minimize stress when it starts to build up.

These can include:

  • Closing eyes and taking a deep breath. This is very important when a person is required to decide on something instead of turning to an addictive substance.  
  • Doing something enjoyable like listening to music, swimming or walking.  
  • Working out if stress builds up. A person can go to the gym or exercise to get rid of the tension that’s starting to build up.        

Step #3: Reach Out to Others for Assistance

You don’t have to seek free addiction help whenever you feel stressed. However, addiction triggers are related to other people for some individuals.

A person can lose track by being around those engaged in addictive behaviors. If a person or their action is the reason your addiction triggers are building up, reach out to others for assistance.

For instance, you may need to reach out to a close friend or an addiction treatment facility. Essentially, not all the time you have to get help or guidance from a professional. A close friend or relative can help in some cases.

Step #4: Stay Motivated and Busy

Boredom is a common trigger that most people find difficult to avoid. A person can have nothing specific to do. They may not want to spend time watching the television yet they don’t have a person to hang out with.

This is a common scenario for many people that are reintroducing themselves to a sober life after treatment. To avoid triggers and activities that can lead to the need for free drug addiction help in the future, a person should stay motivated and busy.

For instance, a person can come up with a list of healthy things to do when bored and contemplating drinking or getting high. This can be a list of the things to do throughout the week or when they have downtime.

They can also get outdoors to explore the local parks, weed their garden or catch up with sober friends.

After recovery, a person can look for a group to join when bored. This will enable them to meet and interact with new people. This can be done at a recreation center, charities, or church.

Step #5: Keep Learning

Taking appropriate steps for avoiding addiction triggers is easier when a person knows more about their problem, the recovery process, and the involved risks.

As such, learning about addiction and triggers is an important step for avoiding a relapse.

Enrolling in a free drug addiction treatment program might not be enough when it comes to transitioning from an addictive to a sober lifestyle. It’s also crucial to improve how a person communicates with loved ones and focus on establishing strong relationships.

They should also learn the reasons for their addiction and what led to the problem. Is there a co-occurring condition that can worsen their risks?

Exploring new opportunities in this facet of life is also important. For instance, how can a person become a better person during their recovery journey?

This can be a chance to explore their new career, try a new hobby, and move their relationships in the right direction. It can also be the right time to learn about their community.

The Bottom Line

The National Institute on Drug Abuse describes drug addiction as a complex illness. Even when a person has undergone treatment for this illness, the compulsive cravings linger, especially when faced with triggers.

Unfortunately, everybody faces triggers in their daily life when trying to recovery from drug addiction. How a person reacts to them is what defines their future.

Nevertheless, individuals can always seek free drug addiction treatment and help when faced with or unable to avoid triggers.

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