Even those who have been sober for a long time can still face challenges—including emotional triggers that can put sobriety at risk. You may believe that you’ve put down drugs and alcohol for good, yet certain people, places, or activities may trigger something in you that makes you want to use those substances again. The good news is that these triggers can be overcome through the proper relapse prevention techniques. It all starts with identifying what your triggers actually are.

Triggers are Different for Everyone

Triggers can be almost anything, and they differ from one person to the next. For example, maybe there’s a certain individual—an old friend or a former partner—whose presence in your life is triggering. Maybe the workplace triggers you, your desire to perform stressing and taxing you. Or maybe returning to a location from your past—a house or apartment where you once lived—can be triggering. Identifying your triggers is not always easy, but there are some common signs you can be alert for. For example, triggers sometimes come with physical symptoms, such as tightness in your stomach or a general feeling of tension in your body. There are also psychological signs to account for—including:
  • Thinking about how good you felt back when you used drugs or alcohol;
  • Reminiscing about times you spent doing drugs or alcohol in the past;
  • Planning ways to obtain drugs or alcohol today; or
  • Feeling like you need to use those substances to feel good again.
If you know what your triggers are, it’s best to simply avoid them whenever possible—though for some, this might not be feasible. If not, you’ll want to have a relapse prevention plan in place. That’s something you can work out with your therapist. We’re here to support you through all stages of recovery. If you’d like to talk to someone about relapse prevention, contact Seacliff Recovery today. Contact our clinical team to learn more about relapse prevention.
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