The dirty secret of addiction recovery is even after you come out of rehab, your system wiped clean of any trace of addictive substances, and your mind reinforced with therapy and treatment to overcome your substance abuse, addiction still doesn’t completely go away. Various elements in your environment can still have you suddenly desiring another hit of whatever drug or other substance you once abused, leaving you potentially unprepared for such an encounter, risking relapse. That is why each and every recovering addict needs a plan for navigating triggers and cravings, to provide practical tips for overcoming temptations.
While the word “trigger” has come to mean a lot of different things in online discourse, when it comes to addiction, a trigger is simply anything that inspires a recovering addict to suddenly feel as if they need to partake of an addictive substance once again. People, places, smells, certain foods or consumer products, almost anything can be a trigger if it creates an association in the former addict’s mind of their time as an addict and reactivates memories and feelings of that addiction in a way that reignites a craving for an addictive substance.
While not every trigger can be prepared for – there’s no way to determine every aspect of your day-to-day life that might inspire a memory of addiction and a corresponding craving – there are certain things a recovering addict can do to try and navigate their post-recovery routine in a way to minimize triggers and cravings in their life.
Here are some practical tips for overcoming temptations in your life:
- Find a way to relax and deal with stress. Triggers are often the result of certain stress markers in your life. Once you might have treated your stress with substance abuse, but now you need a new stress reliever. Meditation, for instance, can be utilized or, for the more religious patient, prayer. Even just sitting still and quiet for a certain prescribed time can help de-escalate stress in your life and therefore reduce or eliminate a craving.
- Find a hobby. A recurring activity that you use as a relief valve in your life can help take the place of former cravings. Cooking, woodworking, model building, any activity that occupies your hands and mind can do the trick. Some may substitute exercise and gym time for what once was a time to abuse drugs or alcohol. Sports can also do the trick here.
- Social interaction is key. While substance abuse is often a private affair, that’s not always true. For some addicts, using drugs together with other addicts is their primary social interaction with peers outside of work or school. Avoiding such circles is key to prevent relapse, so the former addict needs a new social outlet. Join a club, spend time with family, and attend group therapy sessions. Such interactions in a healthy manner and environment help reduce cravings and prevent triggers.
Good Landing Recovery, as a Christian rehab facility, can help recovering addicts develop plans and tips for navigating life after treatment and finding simple, practical ways to curtail triggers and reduce cravings. Give them a call today and move forward knowing you have ways to avoid relapse with the right preventative measures in place.