Sobriety is a journey. It is daily choosing to be sober, healthy, and to move forward in a new way. As you have discovered, you must be intentional about strengthening your recovery and avoiding old patterns and habits that may trigger cravings.
These triggers could be stress, places, people, patterns, or feelings that pull you away from your sobriety.
Examples of Common Relapse Triggers
- Friends or family who use
- Old hangouts where you drank or did drugs (Bars, friends’ homes, parties, etc.)
- Stressors such as events, work, relationships, finances, or emotional situations/issues
- Unhealthy or enabling relationships
- Anything that sparks a craving – even loneliness or boredom
Ways to Avoid Relapse Triggers as Much as Possible
Remember to be grateful each day and to focus on the amazing accomplishment of choosing sobriety. You can also use these tips to avoid or manage triggers as they arise:
- Be aware of your personal triggers in order to avoid them.
- Continue the holistic approaches and mindfulness practices learned and implemented in your treatment program.
- Make a new circle of friends who are sober and clean.
- Avoid locations where you used to get high or drink excessively.
- Get rid of all paraphernalia and clear out anything used to fuel your addiction or anything that reminds you of it.
- Develop new hobbies by joining a class (painting, rock climbing, theater, cooking, etc.)
- Volunteer for something that grabs your attention and forces you outside yourself and into helping others.
- Exercise regularly. Go for a run, try a dance class, or join a yoga class.
A Plan to Maintain Sobriety
Realistically, not all triggers can be avoided. Have a plan in place to deal with cravings so you can stay strong in your addiction recovery. Plan ideas include:
- Calling a sponsor, counselor, or friend.
- Attending a recovery support group.
- Creating a go-to list of the reasons you chose sobriety.
- Getting a massage or doing yoga each day.
- Going for a walk.
- Praying and meditating.
- Writing, painting, dancing, or singing. Choose something that helps you express and process your emotions.
- Keeping a handy list of phone numbers you can call in times of crisis. (Your sponsor, your counselor, friends from your support group, or family members.)
- Gathering as much support as possible. Surround yourself with positive, healthy people. Embrace gratitude, find your joy, establish healthy boundaries, and take care of yourself.
- Implementing a reward system. Each year, month, week, day, hour or minute you are sober is an accomplishment.
Making Healthy Choices for Your Sobriety
As you move forward in your recovery, counseling (either individual or group) is an essential piece of the puzzle. There are underlying issues that led to your substance abuse, and therapy can help you work through these emotional wounds. Facing and addressing these factors will help you heal and be stronger, so it is critical to continue the healing you began in addiction recovery.
Innovative Therapies for CA Addiction Recovery
Aftercare begins with a balanced plan. At Coast to Coast Recovery, we teach you to identify triggers and chart your course for success. Empower yourself today: call 800-210-8229 to speak with an admissions counselor 24/7.