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What are triggers?


A "trigger" is anything -- a sight, a sound, a smell, a feeling -- that can inspire cravings, usually by reminding the user of past drug or alcohol experiences.

In the early days after detox, almost anything can be a trigger. Reading the news, hearing a song on the radio, seeing a TV commercial showing people in a bar having a good time, catching a whiff of marijuana as you walk past a group of people. It may be necessary to limit media consumption and come up with a list of avoidance behaviors at first to continue in recovery.

Over time, external triggers are likely to lose some of their power. The alcoholic may be able to drive past a billboard with a picture of a cold glass of beer without experiencing a craving. More insidious are emotional triggers that may have contributed to the addiction in the first place -- feelings of not belonging, or anxiety about dating, for example. These will be different for everyone, and a personal relapse prevention plan should include a list of known triggers and strategies for managing them without putting the harmful chemical in their bodies.



8/27/2007 11:03:58 AM
carol said:



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