Alcoholic Triggers: What to Look Out For

alcohol triggers

The NIDA states that somewhere between 40 to 60 percent of individuals who’ve been through alcohol addiction treatment end up relapsing. Much of this is due to the brain and how it associates activities with alcohol consumption. If someone has been engaged in alcohol abuse for an extended period of time, it’s likely that most activities can cause triggers

Alcoholic triggers are strong urges that increase the possibility of someone relapsing. While triggers do not force someone to engage in drinking alcohol, they make it much more difficult to refrain. Even individuals who have sustained from alcohol abuse for an extended period of time can fall victim to triggers.

What are Alcoholic Triggers?

Alcoholic triggers can be external or internal and are typically categorized as emotional, environmental, or emotional. These triggers or cravings are natural responses that result from previous alcohol abuse. In fact, the brain associates any particular activity with events, emotions, or people. Just as you may associate waking up with taking a shower or brushing your teeth.

Humans are creatures of habit. It is in our nature to develop patterns and avoid change. We do this because it allows us to accomplish tasks more efficiently. This helps explain why alcoholic triggers are so powerful. Consequently, the more you’ve previously engaged in alcohol abuse for a particular trigger, the harder the habit is to break.

External Triggers

An external trigger for alcohol use is a person, place, thing, or activity that produces urges to drink. Triggers are powerful and produce an emotional response that can be overwhelming. External triggers are outside of a person’s control, which makes them even more difficult. During treatment, people are taken away from a lot of these triggers. This makes it hard to determine what your response may be once out of treatment.

People

Some people may act as a trigger. These are usually people who you used to drink with or those who encourage your drinking. Seeing someone that you used to drink with can lead to intense cravings. Even if this person is not around alcohol, they may make you think about drinking.


Places

Places can also be triggers. This could be a bar that you used to go to or a party where there was always alcohol. The sights, smells, and sounds of these places can produce cravings. While you’re early in recovery it’s best to avoid these places.


Activities

Some activities can also lead to cravings. This may be going out to eat, playing certain sports, or listening to music. Holidays are typical times when triggers emerge as most former alcoholics remember drinking during these celebrations. These social activities can cause people in recovery a lot of stress. Friends and family may put pressure on their loved one to drink in celebration.


Things

Things or objects that can invoke triggers include any bar wear or decor that encourages drinking. Signage like “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere” or having a bar set up in your home can make it harder to stay away from alcohol. These items speak to the culture of drinking and can invoke strong emotions by reminding a person of the investment they made into that type of life. It’s best to remove these once you’re in recovery.

Addiction treatment programs do focus heavily on how to approach and respond to environmental triggers. In most cases, the advice is to avoid them, but sometimes this isn’t always possible. Developing a relapse prevention plan becomes crucial in managing alcoholic triggers outside of treatment.

Internal Triggers

Internal triggers include thoughts and emotions that are associated with alcohol use. These are especially difficult as you can’t just avoid them the way you can with many external triggers. In order to actively manage internal triggers you need to have a deep understanding of the feelings and thoughts that occur and how you will manage them.

Common internal triggers include stress, loneliness, hunger, exhaustion, mental illness, memories, ego, and simply being bored.

Stress

Stress is often cited as a major trigger for relapse. Many people who are in recovery find that they still experience a great deal of stress in their lives. While some stress is normal and to be expected, unmanaged stress can lead to problems. It’s important to find healthy ways to cope with stressors in your life. This may include things like exercise, relaxation techniques, journaling, and talking to a therapist.


Loneliness

Loneliness is another common trigger for relapse. Many people in recovery find that they need to make lifestyle changes in order to stay sober. This can sometimes mean isolating yourself from friends or family members who still drink or use drugs. While this may seem difficult at first, it’s important to remember that you’re doing what’s best for your recovery. There are many other people in recovery who understand what you’re going through and can be a great support system.


Boredom

Another trigger for relapse is boredom. When people are bored, they often turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to pass the time. This is why it’s so important for people in recovery to find healthy activities and hobbies that they enjoy. Doing things that are positive and productive can help to keep your mind off drugs and alcohol.


Hunger

Another common trigger for relapse is hunger. When people are hungry, they may be more likely to crave drugs or alcohol. This is because substances like alcohol can help temporarily relieve the symptoms of hunger. If you’re in recovery, it’s important to make sure that you’re eating regular meals and snacks throughout the day.


Exhaustion

Exhaustion is another common trigger for relapse. When people are tired, they may be more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to cope. This is because substances can help to provide a temporary energy boost. If you’re in recovery, it’s important to get enough rest and relaxation.


Ego or Overconfidence

Ego or overconfidence can also lead to relapse. This is because people who are egoistic or overly confident may feel like they can handle using substances again. They may also feel like they can control their use of substances. However, this is often not the case. If you’re in recovery, it’s important to have realistic expectations about your ability to control your substance use.


Mental Illness

Mental illness can also lead to relapse. This is because mental illness can cause changes in mood and thinking. Trauma specifically has been shown to increase a person’s propensity to alcohol abuse. These changes can make it difficult to resist the urge to use substances. If you’re in recovery, it’s important to get treatment for your mental illness.


Anger

Anger is another emotion that can trigger a relapse. This is because anger can lead to impulsive behavior. When you’re angry, you may be more likely to make decisions that you’ll later regret. If you’re in recovery, it’s important to find healthy ways to deal with your anger.

It’s important to determine which internal triggers affect you the most and include how to overcome them in your relapse prevention plan. Remember to be realistic and include actionable items that you are most likely to accomplish. Choosing something like “journaling,” when you hate writing is not helpful to your recovery.

How Can You Deal with Alcoholic Triggers?

dealing with alcoholic triggers

There are a few things that you can do to deal with alcoholic triggers:

Identify your triggers: The first step is to identify what your triggers are. Once you know what they are, you can be on the lookout for them. Ask yourself questions like “What emotions are present when I think about drinking?” or “What family celebrations include alcohol?”

Avoid your triggers: If possible, it’s best to avoid your triggers altogether. This may mean changing your usual routine or avoiding certain places and people.

Plan ahead: If you can’t avoid your triggers, it’s important to have a plan in place for how you will deal with them. This might involve having a support person you can call, or having a list of things to do to distract yourself.

Know your limits: It’s important to know your limits and not put yourself in situations where you will be tempted to drink. If you’re not sure you can handle being around alcohol, it’s best to avoid those situations.

Talk about it: Talking about your triggers with a therapist or support group can help you better understand them and find ways to cope with them.

What is an Alcohol Relapse?

Relapse is when someone who has been trying to quit drinking starts drinking again. It can be a one-time thing, or it can lead to a return to heavy drinking. Relapse is common, and it’s often part of the recovery process.

There are many reasons why people relapse. Some people relapse because they feel like they can’t handle their triggers. Others relapse because they haven’t developed a solid support system. And still, others relapse because they haven’t dealt with the underlying issues that led to their drinking in the first place.

There are many ways to deal with triggers. Some people find that avoiding trigger situations is the best way for them. Others find that talking about their triggers with a therapist or support group helps them to deal with them. And still, others find that they need to do both – avoid some triggers and deal with others.

The important thing is to find what works for you and stick with it. Relapse is not a failure, but it is something to be avoided if at all possible. If you do relapse, don’t hesitate to get help.

What Should I Do if I Relapse? Contact Jaywalker Lodge!

You should consider getting more help for your alcohol abuse issues by contacting Jaywalker Lodge! We created our addiction treatment programs to address all causes of alcohol abuse and developed a structure for individuals to achieve long-lasting recovery! We do not offer the same cookie-cutter approach many other treatment centers offer. Our facility was founded on the principles of developing meaningful learning and cultivating individual growth.

To learn more about Jaywalker Lodge, contact our admissions team to get started.

How Can You Deal with Alcoholic Triggers?

There are a few things that you can do to deal with alcoholic triggers:

Identify your triggers: The first step is to identify what your triggers are. Once you know what they are, you can be on the lookout for them. Ask yourself questions like “What emotions are present when I think about drinking?” or “What family celebrations include alcohol?”

Avoid your triggers: If possible, it’s best to avoid your triggers altogether. This may mean changing your usual routine or avoiding certain places and people.

Plan ahead: If you can’t avoid your triggers, it’s important to have a plan in place for how you will deal with them. This might involve having a support person you can call, or having a list of things to do to distract yourself.

Know your limits: It’s important to know your limits and not put yourself in situations where you will be tempted to drink. If you’re not sure you can handle being around alcohol, it’s best to avoid those situations.

Talk about it: Talking about your triggers with a therapist or support group can help you better understand them and find ways to cope with them.

What is an Alcohol Relapse?

Relapse is when someone who has been trying to quit drinking starts drinking again. It can be a one-time thing, or it can lead to a return to heavy drinking. Relapse is common, and it’s often part of the recovery process.

There are many reasons why people relapse. Some people relapse because they feel like they can’t handle their triggers. Others relapse because they haven’t developed a solid support system. And still, others relapse because they haven’t dealt with the underlying issues that led to their drinking in the first place.

There are many ways to deal with triggers. Some people find that avoiding trigger situations is the best way for them. Others find that talking about their triggers with a therapist or support group helps them to deal with them. And still, others find that they need to do both – avoid some triggers and deal with others.

The important thing is to find what works for you and stick with it. Relapse is not a failure, but it is something to be avoided if at all possible. If you do relapse, don’t hesitate to get help.

What Should I Do if I Relapse? Contact Jaywalker Lodge!

avoiding alcoholic triggers

You should consider getting more help for your alcohol abuse issues by contacting Jaywalker Lodge! We created our addiction treatment programs to address all causes of alcohol abuse and developed a structure for individuals to achieve long-lasting recovery! We do not offer the same cookie-cutter approach many other treatment centers offer. Our facility was founded on the principles of developing meaningful learning and cultivating individual growth.

To learn more about Jaywalker Lodge, contact our admissions team to get started.

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