When your brain associates your substance of choice with pleasure, it positively reinforces your drug and alcohol use. This process makes it difficult to recover because you have to learn how to handle and cope with triggers. But what are triggers and how do you learn how to successfully manage them during recovery?
Recovery is a lifelong journey. Since addiction is a chronic disease, sobriety requires learning how to properly manage your symptoms throughout your lifetime. Although addiction is incurable, treatment can help you overcome a substance abuse disorder and maintain abstinence. During addiction, your brain chemistry changes because your pleasure and reward center is altered.
Addiction and Recovery
Addiction is a complex disease that becomes progressively worse until you receive treatment. Drugs and alcohol alter your thought process, emotions, and behaviors, which can make you more prone to engage in dangerous decisions. As your tolerance builds, you need to increase your use in order to prevent withdrawal symptoms and to continue to experience the positive effects of intoxication. You can develop psychological or physical dependence, or both, during addiction. When you have a physical dependency, your body needs your substance of choice in order to feel normal.
Common signs and symptoms of addiction include:
- Inability to stop or reduce your substance use
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop using
- Spending the majority of your time and money using or buying drugs or alcohol
- Feeling guilt, shame, or remorse about your substance use
- Having friends or family members confront you about your substance use
Once you develop a substance abuse disorder, you experience a significant neurotransmitter imbalance. This imbalance can cause you to experience intense cravings when you don’t use and can alter your mood and behaviors. When you stop using, your brain has to relearn how to properly release neurotransmitters. It can take time for your brain and body to adjust to sobriety, which is why it’s important to engage in treatment during the recovery process.
What are Triggers?
So, what are triggers and why do they matter? During addiction, your brain associates your substance of choice and everything that reminds you of it, with pleasure. When you’re exposed to triggers, which can be people, places, or things, it can intensify cravings and make it more difficult to avoid using. Triggers can exist long after your last use, which is why learning how to cope with them is imperative to your recovery.
Another important thing to remember if you’re wondering what are triggers is that everyone has unique triggers. That means that something can trigger cravings in you even if it doesn’t increase cravings in somebody else.
Finding Help Today
If you’re wondering what are triggers, it’s likely because you’re actively recovering and are looking for ways to strengthen your sobriety. After treatment, it’s important to consider options like sober living and outpatient treatment to ensure you have the support and guidance you need to protect your sobriety. To find out more about sober living options and how we can help you with your recovery, contact us at 855.380.7560 today.