If you are in recovery, there are a number of common stimuli that have the potential to trigger a relapse. This can include spending time with certain people, visiting a bar or club where you used to hang out, or even food or music that you associate with drinking or using drugs. However, as experienced Loveland substance abuse counselors, we know that there are other things that you might not expect to be triggers that definitely can be.
Being aware of events and emotions below as potential triggers can help keep them from halting your progress while you are in recovery:
- A new intimate relationship. The emotional “high” you feel when starting a new romantic relationship is similar to the high you feel when drinking or using drugs. Consequently, this very positive development in your life can lead to a very negative return to substance abuse. Focus on channeling your enthusiasm into the relationship rather than letting it take you down the wrong path.
- Injury or illness. For many people, substance abuse is the way they “medicate” when life gets painful or challenging. An injury or illness can cause the kind of physical and emotional distress that makes you want to drink or do drugs again. Be sure to address your ailment quickly and in a healthy way so it doesn’t have a negative impact on your recovery.
- The relapse of someone close to you. People who are recovery and working with a Loveland substance abuse counselor tend to feel a bond with others who are recovering or who have recovered. If a friend or loved one relapses, it’s easy to believe that the fact that it happened to them means it will likely happen to you and that consequently there’s no reason to fight it. Rather than giving in, recommit to your recovery so you can inspire this person the way they have inspired you.
- Relocating. Moving is stressful, even if it’s a move you’re looking forward to. That stress may cause you to crave the substance you’re trying to quit. To keep that urge from controlling you, get involved in exploring your new surroundings.
- Envy. We’ve all experienced the desire to have something we don’t, whether it’s career success, material possessions, a romantic relationship or something else. Envy is a normal human emotion. However, if you let it linger and grow, it can become a powerful trigger. Try focusing on being grateful for what you do have as a way to turn your heart and mind in a more positive direction.
Keeping Your Recovery on Track
Sometimes it’s the trigger you least expect that is the most powerful. Staying clean and sober means staying vigilant throughout recovery and beyond. If you are looking for a Loveland substance abuse counselor to help you with your recovery journey, call 970-494-4200. If you or a loved one needs help with an immediate mental or emotional crisis, you can reach our Access Center at that same phone number 24/7. In the case of a life-threatening emergency, please call 911.