Addressing Triggers in Drug and Alcohol Detox: The Key to Successful Recovery

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Drug and alcohol detoxification, also referred to as detox, is the very important first step on the path to recovery from addiction.

Keep in mind, though, that detox is not only about cleansing the body of harmful substances. It also involves identifying and dealing with the underlying issues that contribute to addiction. One critical thing that a person needs to do when entering into detox is to identify and deal with triggers that can cause them to relapse in the future.

Triggers are situations, emotions, or even thoughts that can lead to cravings for alcohol or drugs. It is essential that this happens, so the person can avoid or deal with those triggers in the future in a more positive way.

Understanding Triggers

Triggers are unique to each person, and they can take on many different forms. They may include certain people, places, and things associated with substance use, as well as emotional states, stressors, or negative thoughts and memories. For example, if a person goes to a bar where they used to meet up with their drug dealer, it can trigger them to want to use again. Triggers are different for each person, which is the reason it is so important for each person in detox to identify their own personal triggers.

The Dangers of Ignoring Triggers

Some people may think that a person can simply ignore their triggers, but that is not the case. They need to deal with their triggers during the detox phase, or it can have very serious consequences. For example, if someone detoxes from heroin but does not deal with their triggers, the likelihood of a relapse is increased, and not only will it mess up their sobriety, it can actually be fatal.

Triggers have a way of creating powerful cravings in a person and making it difficult for him or her to stay committed to their recovery journey. Relapse is a real risk, as a person may turn to substances as a way to cope with the discomfort triggered by cravings and withdrawal symptoms. This is why it is so very important to head off triggers ahead of time so that setbacks in the recovery process can be avoided.

Identifying Triggers

The first step in addressing triggers is to figure out what they are and identify them. This can be done through self-reflection, therapy, and guidance from addiction specialists. It’s crucial for a person to be honest with themselves and acknowledge the situations, people, or emotions that trigger their desire to use drugs or alcohol. Once they are identified, these triggers can then be categorized into external and internal triggers.

External triggers are outside influences that can lead to cravings, like the bar situation discussed above. Not only can certain places be triggers for someone, but people they associate with substance use or even specific situations, like parties or social gatherings, can be triggers for someone. Avoiding or minimizing exposure to these external triggers is often the best thing to do during detox.

Internal triggers are emotional or psychological factors that can cause cravings. These can include stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, or even unresolved trauma. Coping strategies and therapy can help a person address these internal triggers by developing healthier ways to manage their emotions and thoughts.

If you or a loved one are in need of a detox center in Atlanta, GA, call the professionals at the Empowered Recovery Center today and be on your way to recovery.