Relapse Prevention: Understand Your Triggers 

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Figure Out What Sets You Off

You have connections with a multitude of things that prompt you to recall both, good and bad times. A song can remind you of great times with friends or a romantic moment with your love interest. Whether it is music, a place or a thing, there’s something that can recall feelings of happiness, sorrow or resentment.

Reactions to these things that trigger your responses can cause you to shift your thinking on a dime. How you react to these triggers is crucial for understanding why you seek contentment or strength in particular people, places and yes, drugs or alcohol. When you’re on the path to recovery, you’ll discover your triggers and how relapse prevention can help keep you on the “path" in recovery.

triggers to relapse

What are Triggers?

A trigger is something that that sets you off and takes your mind back to a specific person, place, or thing. In some cases, a trigger could be a smell, sound, or object. No matter what the trigger is, it can release an expressive or physical reaction. When something causes these kinds of reaction, that trigger can be a spark for your feelings.

Think about how traditional practices or rituals can affect your response to an individual or location. Think about how you react to certain social traditions or act when you are with friends or family. Do you connect the “pop” of can opening with drinking beer? What about hanging out with friends you used to get high with? The common behaviors can affect how you understand social settings. Before you can begin to change destructive habits with healthy ones, you need to identify what triggers you to use drugs or drink booze.

Common triggers include:

  • An anniversary of a loved one’s death
  • Disturbing news
  • Feelings of stress or anxiety
  • A relationship break-up
  • Self-esteem threatened
  • Job loss

To understand how to replace destructive habits with healthy ones, you need to understand why or what causes you to respond with a negative, habitual reaction.

Relapse prevention therapy can help you develop healthy coping skills – and in turn, prevent relapse when faced with any of your triggers.

Relapse Prevention Treatment

Deciding to go to rehab shows how brave you are because you made the difficult choice to deal with your addiction. Treatment professionals will help you pinpoint triggers, address mental health concerns, relationships and deliver cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy and relapse prevention therapy. While in rehab you can discover and talk over ways to prevent relapse, such as identifying your triggers and learning new coping mechanisms.

There are warning signs related with relapse. Typically, addiction relapse is set in motion long before the actual event of using or drinking. Often these signals are connected to returning to old stomping grounds, friends and the like. Relapse prevention therapy helps you manage what compels you to want to drink or drug. When you work with your therapist on detecting what leads to your use, you can also learn how to utilize positive coping skills you learned in treatment. You can learn how to extricate yourself from toxic relationships or environs. In some cases, this means moving on from those individuals who are unsafe for your sobriety.

Sober Living in Florida

What if you don’t have a safe ecosystem to return to after going to rehab? Or what if you find yourself in an atmosphere where you fear you can relapse? You can either move to sober living after you finish rehab or enter sober living if you feel you may relapse. A sober living facility can provide you with everything you need, physically and psychologically, while healing. The healing process can take time, and you should have the security and comfort you need to continue your healing process. Sober living is a safe landing that promotes accountability and, at the same time, protects those in early recovery.

Simple Path Recovery is an oceanside, boutique addiction treatment center located in Pompano Beach, FL. Recognized as a Top Florida Drug & Alcohol Rehab, Simple Path is committed to individualized care, 12-step integration, and Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). Their addiction helpline is available 24/7 at 855-467-3625.


About the Author
Matthew Koenig is the principal of Last Call Marketing, which devotes their efforts to Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, Website Design and SEO, primarily in healthcare and tourism concerns. Mr. Koenig is based out of South Florida. His sober date is June 10, 2013.


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