addiction triggers

What is a trigger?

In the world of addiction a trigger is a person, place, or event that reminds us of a reason which to use. For example, an alcoholic may get triggers from being bored or even seeing a liquor store on the way home, all addicts have triggers. These addiction triggers are often indirect reminders to addicts of the sensation using.

How to identify your addiction triggers?

Identifying your addiction triggers is fairly simple and can be done with a list. That’s right a list! Now if you’ve ever tried quitting before this should be easier but if this is your first time it can still be done. Think to moments you’ve had where you felt you had to use. These could be simple thoughts, images or emotions you have felt leading up to you using and write them down as a list. For example, someone who may be struggling with alcoholism could have triggers such as these:

  1. While I’m eating
  2. Being in company with others
  3. Before meeting with others
  4. When I’m tired or stressed
  5. Parties
  6. When I’m bored
  7. When I see others drinking

These are all instances when your addiction tempts you to use and causes your brain to crave your drug of choice. Triggers are different for each person and they can occur for an array of reasons.

How to change your reaction to addiction triggers?

Now that you know your triggers the other half of your battle begins. Your next step is to identify the emotion associated with these triggers and create a solution.

This is an equation on how to find the solutions to your triggers:

Triggers = Emotions = Solution

To find a solution you must identify what the cause or emotion behind your trigger. For instance, while I’m bored translates to loneliness and in order to change that I will pick up a new hobby, read or exercise.

Use this list to help you retrain your brain on how to deal with triggers. Knowing this coping tip doesn’t mean you should forgo seeking addiction treatment or seeing a therapist. This skill is to make your sobriety as manageable as possible for you.