What Are Triggers?

What Is a Trigger

Defined as a verb, “trigger” means to cause an event or situation to happen or exist. When you think of a trigger, a gun may come to mind because it is the mechanism that discharges the firearm. For people in recovery, a trigger could be anything that may cause them to pick up a drink or a drug. Both are extremely powerful, dangerous, and deadly.

If you are wondering what kind of trigger could be described so ominously, just think back on what set you off in your drinking or using. For instance, triggers could be relationship trouble, work stress, the liquor aisle, depression or anxiety, the clinking of ice, loneliness, syringe orange, anger, etc. What triggers you may not trigger the next person, but it will always be people, places, or things.

Find Out Your Triggers and Address Them

In getting sober, you have to find out what your triggers are, and then you have to address them. Your sobriety is, and should always be your top priority—above everything else. This means that you need to do something about whatever it is that could cause you to pick up that loaded weapon, i.e., a drink or a drug. Going to activities that center on drinking or using, such as happy hour or 3 am clubbing is not wise. Doing so is just setting yourself up for failure. A night out isn’t worth throwing away all of the hard work that you’ve put into your sobriety.

There are also triggers that are not so easily avoided. Some people’s ears perk up when they hear the pop of a can open. Others may feel uneasy around alcohol commercials, and some get anxious when they hear the sound of pills shake in a bottle. When you feel triggered, remove yourself from the situation, and call a trusted friend. Some of the most difficult triggers are family members.

Since addiction is a family disease, therapy can be helpful for all parties involved. People, places, and things come and go, and we have to learn how to cope with them in the process. The tools to do so are learned in treatment, and it is up to us to use them wisely.




If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, call The Lakehouse Recovery Center. We have the solution to the disease of addiction, and we will give you the tools you need to live a long, happy life in recovery. Give us a call, we are available 24/7, toll-free at (877) 762-3707. Recovery is possible. Call now.


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