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Addiction Triggers

AA addicted to drugs Addiction Alcohol Alcoholics Anonymous drug abuse heroin NA recovery recovery problems Rehab relapse Self Help Triggers

Addiction can be mean! Addiction can be angry! Addiction can be all things but fake. You can’t set addiction down and expect to go back to being just like ‘you’ were from the very beginning. Like, before it all happened? That doesn’t just ‘happen.’ You're wrong there. In addiction there are many things that people who don’t suffer from addiction don’t know about or understand. So what triggers this?

“You're weak!”

“You're wrong!”

“Why can’t you just grow out of this? Just grow up!”

These may be some common things we all hear from people around us when trying to get passed that hump of ‘getting clean’ and ‘staying clean.’ What happens when some things get in your way? What are these imaginary road bumps in the map known as recovery road? Where do they come from? These things are called triggers.

Triggers are little bruises and bumps in the path that will evoke us from social stimuli (the things around us). These feelings go down into the core of our emotional ‘triggers’ (there’s the word again) and set something off inside of us (and sometimes outside of us!).

The social stimuli effected when you become ‘triggered’ sends a little sigh and scream to the back of your subconscious from the old days right into the forefront of your mind.

It’s kind of like this: You get a feeling that you do hate but it’s a feeling that you used to love so much! It's contradictory in itself and one of which you used to get by on so many times before!

Three Days Grace says it best, “I hate everything about you! Why do I love you?”

Triggers are any form of stimuli that engage us into that old way of thinking of addiction.  Triggers send us back to that proverbial ‘chase.’ Triggers leave us with a feeling of hunger… we're hungry for substance! No matter how hard we try, when the triggers come, we are never, ever satisfied!

Common triggers can be things like:

  1. Smells
  2. Sights
  3. Certain feelings (physical or emotional)
  4. Other people
  5. Certain Places
  6. A particular mood
  7. Types of Stress
  8. A particular person
  9. Environment
  10. Social actions
  11. Emotional actions
  12. Anger
  13. Loneliness
  14. Depression
  15. Anxiety
  16. Frustration
  17. Feeling Tired
  18. Feeling hyper
  19. Boredom
  20. Overexertion
  21. Chemistry
  22. School
  23. Work
  24. Home
  25. Loved Ones


Realizing that triggers are inherent to each individual’s addiction/recovery while remembering that all addicts share a commonality makes it easier to ask for help and find solutions when in trouble. Just repeat these simple words and you may feel slight relief:

“I am an addict”

If those words did not work then try asking for serenity through the serenity prayer!

If neither of these work DO NOT say this:

“Awe just fuck it!”

triggers Addiction Triggers addiction cycle1There will be something that works for you, just find it! Tim Allen quotes in 1999’s Galaxy Quest film to “never give up, never surrender!”  Never, ever!  But, surrendering might just be the thing for you… Read further on what I mean by that.  Without surrendering and giving up, you may need to surrender in a different way!

Surrendering our will and finding our character defects may lead us to helping these triggers we encounter in our lives. Relating to other addicts stories and finding out that we are NOT alone gives us a sense of togetherness.

So, if you feel or see any of these warning sides, trust me there is no need to fear. Now you have gained another awareness into your addiction and possibly another persons!  Maybe, now you can find out “how it worked for them,” which is a common way of helping others recover! Pass the message along once you’ve found yours!

With this awareness you can find different recovery techniques on how to further better yourself from the triggers coming back next time at all! Awareness is key!

What triggers you the most? What was one way you worked to better your triggering situations today? Are you staying active in bettering yourself? Your body won’t just recover by itself! Be active, be healthy, be you!

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