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Triggers and Recovering Addicts

When you pull the trigger on a gun, it releases a bullet at a rapid speed that races until it runs into something that stops it. A trigger is, then, an appropriate word that describes when someone who has struggled with alcohol and drug addiction finds themself in a situation where they are tempted to relapse. Read on to learn more about triggers and recovering addicts and how The Ranch PA can help you on your road to recovery. A person, place, or thing can trigger a strong reaction in someone recovering from addiction. A trigger can pop up so fast that it becomes extremely difficult to stop and often challenging to deal with. Triggers can also result in people relapsing and falling back into their old patterns, even when they have the aim of lifelong sobriety. Not every individual will react to the same triggers. They vary based on the person’s background, their addiction struggles, and their emotional state. Regardless, just about every person who has struggled with alcohol or drugs has addiction triggers.

What Events Are Triggers?

Triggers often hark back to a person’s life before sobriety. When they are around old friends or revisit places where they hung out when they were abusing alcohol or drugs, they are likely to encounter triggers. These triggers are often the reason they sank into addiction in the first place. It is important to avoid these specific places or crowds that might cause you to fall back into old habits. Making new friends and new hobbies is an important part of the recovery process. If you are struggling with your recovery, contact The Ranch PA. We will be able to help you in a holistic treatment approach and reduce the situations in your life that cause triggers for addiction. Additionally, highly emotional events are especially strong triggers. People struggling with addiction often ease their pain by drinking or using drugs in an attempt to dull their feelings. Situational triggers may include:

  • A traumatic event, such as the death of a parent or loved one
  • The holiday season, full of strong emotions that can be confusing when navigating them soberly
  • Running into a friend, ex or drug dealer from the drug addiction days
  • Reminders of traumatic events that led to alcohol or drug abuse, such as a divorce or a sexual or physical assault

It is important that recovering addicts recognize and acknowledge their triggers so that they can deal with them in the best, most healthy way possible.

Triggers and Recovering Addicts

Beyond those environmental triggers, influences can trigger a relapse as well. For instance, a period of high stress may trigger a desire to drink or use drugs. Loud noises can also trigger stress responses and result in an urge for alcohol or drugs. The important thing to understand about triggers is that they require vigilance. Triggers do not disappear after a certain amount of time has passed.  After a year, five years or even 20 years, you are not free from your triggers when you have been sober for a certain amount of time. Even when decades have passed, triggers can still spark an intense longing for old vices. Recovery is a lifelong process, and it is important to develop the tools and skills gained in treatment to help triggers and recovering addicts. At The Ranch PA, we understand the importance of treating the underlying causes of triggers, giving those struggling with addiction coping mechanisms to help them in these difficult situations. Contact us today at 717.969.9126 to help you or a loved one. (photo via) Disclaimer: The person pictured above is a model and is used for illustrative purposes only.

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