What Triggers Substance Abuse?
There is no simple answer to what triggers substance abuse. A trigger is very simply a place, action, person, or behavior that causes you to want to use a drug. Each trigger is different for different people. It is important to identify and defeat these triggers while you are in recovery. Triggers can cause you to crave the drug and possibly relapse into its use. Much of recovery is identifying what triggered the substance abuse and correcting these issues. Although triggers are relatively individual, there are some that many people have in common.
Many people have similar triggers in common. It seems that the same emotions, events, or people tend to cause a variety of people to use drugs. These common triggers are:
- Stress – according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, stress is the number one trigger to substance abuse. This could be stress at work, school, or home. Many start drinking or doing drugs because it temporarily relieves some of this stress.
- People you associate with use – friends can be a trigger as well. For example, if you are used to drinking around your friends, being around those same people will trigger the urge to drink.
- Places you associate with use – if you go to a certain bar or a place to use drugs or alcohol, going there again can cause you to crave what you used there. The sights, smells, and atmosphere of the place can cause a relapse or cause you to have the craving for the drug.
These are all common things that cause you to use drugs or alcohol. Personal triggers might range to aspects of these things but generally, when you break them down to their basics, it is one of these common things.
Triggers and Relapse
Triggers are very important when it comes to relapse. People who do not have adequate control of their triggers will relapse easily. There are a few things that you can do to avoid triggers. These things are:
- Identify each trigger.
- Have a plan to deal with them if you come across them.
- Make sure that you know what to do if an unexpected one arises.
- Take care of yourself to help reduce and avoid stress.
- Do not push it; when you start to feel stressed or a craving, back away.
- Do not try to test yourself against your triggers until you are ready.
Avoiding or controlling the triggers around you, once you’ve identified them, is key in avoiding relapse behaviors. Those that cannot identify their triggers stand a poor chance for success when it comes to recovery.
Knowing your triggers is similar to knowing and treating the cause of the addiction. You can help your recovery by identifying triggers early and avoiding them. For more help with treatment, identifying triggers, or finding a good treatment center, call us at 1-800-895-1695. We can help you find a treatment plan that works for you.