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Identifying and Understanding Common Addiction Triggers in Recovery

Experience clinician-run addiction treatment at Red Oak Recovery® in the pristine Blue Ridge Mountains

Identifying and Understanding Common Addiction Triggers in Recovery

If you’ve ever heard the opening chords of a song and been instantly transported back to your senior prom, then you’ve experienced the power of an emotional trigger. Additionally, if you’ve ever caught a fleeting waft of wild honeysuckle on the evening breeze and suddenly remembered your cousin’s outdoor wedding, that too was a trigger. An emotional trigger is anything that suddenly reminds us of a past place or time. Not surprisingly, it can be a song or a scent, a sound you hear, or something you see. In a perfect world, all emotional triggers would be positive and would instantly transport us back to a time or a place where we were happy and life was good. But common addiction triggers? Not so much.

Sadly, we don’t live in a perfect world. And for many, emotional triggers are things to be faced and conquered. They may suddenly remind us of our traumatic childhoods, or of the death of a loved one. They may force us to relive a traumatic moment in time, such as a car accident or a sexual assault. As a result, learning as much as you can about emotional triggers is a part of a good recovery program. Learning how to recognize and cope with your own triggers helps you move forward into recovery. Red Oak Recovery® in North Carolina can help. To learn more about our men’s drug addiction treatment programs, contact our men’s treatment program at 866.457.7590.

Common Addiction Triggers for Those Struggling with Substance Use Disorder

An emotional trigger first makes you feel uncomfortable. Suddenly, your happy mood is gone, and there’s a nagging memory trying to surface. Many times, you may not even recognize what happened because it happened so fast and on a subconscious level. Suddenly, for no good reason, you just need a drink. You just need to take a pill. You just need to step outside for a smoke.

The more aware you become of the situations and circumstances that make you feel this way, the easier it becomes to anticipate and avoid them. This is an important part of every addiction recovery program — finding your personal triggers and learning how to experience them without acting upon them. For example, common addiction triggers include:

  • The smell of alcohol
  • The clinking of ice in a glass
  • The smell of cigarette smoke
  • Seeing someone from your “old” life
  • The smell of someone’s cologne
  • The way someone walks

There’s no pattern or explanation of what could act as an addiction trigger because triggers are personal. Generally, they come from things that happened to you in your past, and no two people have the same life experiences. What’s important to remember is that the discomfort your addiction triggers evokes in you is only fleeting. It won’t last forever. It’s okay to feel the discomfort without fearing it. Most importantly, there’s no need to act on it at the moment.

How to Deal With Common Addiction Triggers

There are different ways to deal with common addiction triggers. Subsequently, a solid drug and alcohol treatment program like that offered by Red Oak Recovery® is a good place to begin. Our experienced staff will help you explore the roots of your addiction. We’ll teach you healthy ways to cope when you’re feeling triggered. We’ll help you learn to identify and avoid situations that put you at risk.

Addiction therapy programs will provide you with the skills and plans you need to work through your triggers. Some programs include:

  • Relapse prevention therapy program
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy program
  • Individual therapy program

If you need help recovering from addiction, contact Red Oak Recovery® today at 866.457.7590.