Seeking alcohol addiction therapy is a big step, and it may take time and several attempts to reach the point at which you’re ready to ask for help. Once you do begin a treatment program, your biggest concern may be how you’ll act once you leave a treatment facility. Many recovering addicts are fearful that they’ll begin using once they’re living on their own again. Fortunately, addiction therapy professionals are aware of this concern, and they will take steps to address this issue with you.
Most recovering addicts do worry about a relapse in which they become addicted to alcohol all over again. To help you guard against this possibility, addiction counselors will teach you how to recognize your triggers. If you’re unfamiliar with this term, a trigger is something that increases the craving or urge to drink. You can experience an internal trigger, such as increased stress, or an external trigger, such as visiting your favorite bar. In rehab, you’ll learn how to recognize your triggers, so you can deal with them in healthy ways.
What are Some Common Triggers?
There are many different kinds of internal triggers that can make it difficult for you to stop drinking. Even after you successfully complete an alcohol addiction treatment program, those internal triggers can make it difficult for you to stay sober. For example, if you feel guilt or shame over a traumatic event that occurred in your past, any present-day experiences that remind you of that event can be enough to increase your alcohol cravings. In a similar way, increased stress, depressive episodes, or feelings of anxiety can also urge you to drink. In these cases, this is acknowledged as a form of self-medicating. You drink to eliminate or reduce the negative emotions those conditions produce.
Unfortunately, depression, anxiety, and other emotional health problems often re-emerge with greater severity once the intoxication wears off. There are also several external triggers that can compel you to drink even after leaving a treatment facility. Primarily, external triggers involve exposure to alcohol, or the ability to obtain it easily. If you live near a bar or liquor store, this can be enough to cause a relapse. For this reason, many recovering alcoholics move into a halfway house while they search for an apartment that isn’t located near bars and liquor stores. People can also serve as external triggers. People who still drink will pressure you into drinking with them even if they don’t directly ask you to have a drink. Just being around them may be enough to cause you to feel cravings.
How Can You Stop Drinking?
Most alcoholics have tried to stop drinking on their own and have failed. As a result of those experiences, they may doubt that a treatment facility would provide a more effective method of quitting. In fact, this is often the only option that works for long-time alcoholics. When they try to quit on their own, alcoholics find that they’re not able to cope with the cravings and withdrawal symptoms. You can’t begin a rehab treatment program until your clean, but many facilities also offer detox programs to help addicts stop drinking.
This involves the use of medication that helps reduce the severity of cravings and other withdrawal symptoms. In making withdrawal symptoms less severe, the recovering alcoholic can manage them without drinking. By the time the detox program is complete, the individual is better able to cope with withdrawal symptoms as they move on to the rehab treatment program. Even though it will take longer for withdrawal symptoms to completely disappear, they will become more manageable with professional treatment and therapy.
What are Healthy Ways to Cope With Triggers?
During your stay in an alcohol addiction treatment center, you’ll learn new ways to cope with your triggers. These activities will be just as effective in helping you deal with internal triggers, while also occupying your time to keep you from engaging in activities that would otherwise expose you to external triggers. These activities are also helpful in ensuring you’re living a physically and emotionally healthy lifestyle. They may include:
- Physical workouts (weight lifting, bicycling, swimming, etc.)
- Meditation and yoga
- One on one Counseling
- Support group meetings
- Switching to plant-based diets
When you are ready to quit drinking, contact our counselors at 844-639-8371. We’re available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you may have about the recovery process. While it may be difficult to admit you need help, making this call is the first step in living a sober and healthy way of life.