How Can I Identify My Relapse Triggers Without Actually Relapsing?

Being addicted to drugs or alcohol can destroy your life. Recovering from a substance abuse disorder takes effort on your part. One step towards staying clean and sober is to understand what relapse triggers are and how you can identify them.

But learning what the things are, things which trigger you back to abusing drugs or alcohol, doesn’t mean you have to relapse to know what they are. Identifying relapse triggers is one of the most important points stressed in a treatment program.

When you can recognize relapse triggers, you have a way to avoid an unnecessary relapse. First, let’s talk about the two primary types of relapse triggers. Then, we’ll share some tips on how you can identify them before they derail your recovery.

Two Primary Types of Relapse Triggers

The first thing to understand is the two broad categories that addiction relapse triggers fall into. One is the physical triggers that your own body sends to your mind. The other type of trigger is the psychological trigger that originates and festers in your mind. These are both real, even though one is created by emotions.

Physical Triggers

The physical desire to drink or use drugs is a direct result of abusing either or both substances. These physical impulses can be agonizing. They are cravings, which are strongest during early sobriety.

The intensity of these potentially dangerous physical triggers is a huge reason why supervised detox is common. You may not be in immediate danger from another drink or drug, but if you cannot combat the insatiable physical urge, you’re going to relapse.

Psychological Triggers

Identifying relapse triggers is vital to your recovery. When you know what triggers you to feel that overwhelming urge to drink or use, you can avoid needing to rewrite your sobriety date. You may also be saving your life.

Abusing drugs and alcohol is a frequent response to emotional trauma or mental stress. This is proven to be true by the thousands of addicts and alcoholics who insist they use drugs or alcohol to escape life or their feelings.

The problem is that unless you stay high or drunk 24 hours a day, you will have to face these emotions. Eventually, you’ll need more and more of your drug of choice to escape. At different points for different people, you become both physically and psychologically addicted.

The physical cravings will subside gradually through abstinence. However, the psychological triggers can reside hidden in your mind. These are the triggers that a treatment program will help you uncover and address.

Tips to Identifying Triggers

Understanding the uncontrollable physical cravings for drugs and alcohol is a visible trigger that you can feel and sense. This is why early recovery in a structured treatment facility is highly recommended.

Not only will you benefit from the safety of a medically supervised detox period, you can gradually release these physical cravings without being openly exposed to drugs and alcohol. The next steps in treatment are designed to help you identify your ever-present psychological triggers.

Many psychological triggers are inherent parts of your lifestyle. Your treatment program will involve help in targeting these types of triggers and teaching you ways to alter their impact on your goal of recovery.

Old faces and places can have an uncanny influence on your ability to stay clean and sober. Recovery not only stresses, but provides you with options to rebuild your life with new relationships and healthy habits.

These new relationships will be like-minded people striving for the single most important recovery goal. This critical support system is a tremendous asset. When something does trigger an urge to relapse, you will be able to call on these relationships for help.

Some insist that relapse is part of addiction recovery. Just because a lot of addicts and alcoholics do slip up that doesn’t mean you have to add your name to the wrong side of the ledger. There are those in recovery who have never relapsed.

They will admit they are fortunate, but there are things they may have done differently. One of the tools they certainly used was the ability to identify relapse triggers. Knowing these triggers doesn’t provide a full-proof defense against a relapse, but it helps tremendously.

If you’re striving to stay clean and sober, talk to an addiction specialist about how to identify triggers, so you can avoid a relapse. If you’re someone who thinks they may have a problem with drugs or alcohol, but has never asked for help, reach out.

Help is available, but it starts with you. Once you take that first critical step, you can begin the wonderful journey of recovery. Along the way, you may relapse, but you don’t have to. Make the choice today to begin a new way of living, because tomorrow might be too late. Call us at 772-934-6580.