Addiction triggers are going to be there forever; the trick is to learn how to cope with them and watch them become less and less of a threat to your sobriety as the years go on. Even though it might not always feel like it, the cycle of addiction and triggers can be broken – you just have to know how.
The first trick is to learn, is how to identify a trigger to begin with. According to psychiatrist Dr. Chad Coren, a trigger is “Any high-risk situation or stressor that sparks off a thought, feeling, or action to use drugs or alcohol. This spark, which is experienced as a temptation to use, is called a ‘craving’ or ‘urge.’ Triggers lead to cravings, and urges to use.”
A trigger can come in the form of a person, such as an old drinking buddy from your college days, or a particular place that reminds you of where you used to get high on your drug of choice. These external triggers can spur internal triggers; such as feelings of pain and panic, that lead to poor decision making.
In order to avoid temptation and veering off the path of sobriety, it is extremely beneficial to take time to understand what triggers set you off and why they do. By doing this, you remain one step ahead of the curve and are more prepared to fend off these responses before they inevitably get the best of you and your ultimate goal – recovery.