Better Addiction Care

Common Addiction Triggers


When a person abuses a substance and becomes addicted, the brain is reconfigured to respond to stimuli in different ways. When an individual is in recovery, familiar feelings, sights, and surroundings cause feelings of desire for an addictive substance associated with the specific trigger. Triggers may invoke certain memories or urges, creating a situation where an individual may want to return to their previous pattern of substance abuse. High levels of exposure to triggers can create an ideal environment for addiction relapses, in which an individual falls back into using drugs, but they can also be successfully managed and overcome.

Common Substance Abuse Triggers

Substance abuse triggers vary for every unique person, but there are several categories which can be used to help categorize these feelings. Emotional triggers occur when the individual is in a specific mood or subject to a certain emotion, such as feeling depressed or sad. If someone is tired or physically exhausted, the sense of lethargy may serve as a physical trigger. It should be noted that not all triggers stem from the emotions or feelings of an individual. For many former addicts, the physical presence of the substance they were once addicted to can be a formidable trigger. It may also be the case that the presence of certain people, objects, areas, or activities may function as triggers. One of the best ways to combat addiction triggers is to take the time to identify the triggers that affect you and what situations cause them. Once you know when triggers can be expected, it becomes easier to develop coping strategies.

How to Cope With Triggers

Everyone's reaction to triggers will be different, and as such, it may be helpful to speak with a counselor to determine the best method of dealing with triggers for you. There are a few general guidelines that can be used as a starting point:

  • Reduce the presence of drugs or alcohol from your home and social life. This can mean discarding any residual substances or avoiding specific situations and environments where the urge to use may arise, such as bars or parties.
  • Create a plan to deal with an unsafe or triggering environment. This can include having someone to call or planning how to leave the area.
  • Identify someone you can talk to when the urge to use arises. It may also help to identify an activity, such as reading a book or exercising, which can help distract you from the urge.

In some alternative rehab programs and treatment facilities, experts are utilizing mindfulness as a way to help recognize and resist frequent triggers. However, it's important to recognize that not all coping methods will work for all individuals. Like recovery, triggers are a uniquely personal challenge and should be approached on a case-by-case basis. Consult a medical professional to determine the best coping strategy for you or a loved one.

At BetterAddictionCare, we strongly believe in customized treatment and care for every individual, and this includes the period after rehab where triggers can be disheartening roadblocks. Our 100% confidential services extend to include post-treatment support options, such as the identification and assignment of a highly trained Recovery Team near you. The facilities in our nationwide recovery network are always accepting new patients, so there's no need to wait to find help. If you or a loved one are suffering from drug abuse or fighting against daily addiction triggers, let us provide the care and support you need for a successful recovery. Call today or fill out our contact form for more information on addiction recovery and to get help now.


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