Handling Triggers As You Consider Treatment Options

When it comes time to accept outside help in treating addiction, there are many factors at play. The days, weeks, and even months leading up to participation in addiction treatment will likely be filled with potential triggers. Often the situation is already tense. A lot is going on, and emotional volatility may be at its highest. Dealing with the specifics of a treatment program and the emotions involved in accepting help could backfire if you’re not prepared to handle the triggers that arise. 

Understanding Triggers

Anyone who has decided to pursue addiction recovery starts noticing their triggers almost immediately in their quest to overcome them. Despite sometimes denying their deeper roots at first, most triggers can be found in nearly every part of their daily life. 

Triggers can be environmental, emotional, and/or social situations that remind people of their past substance use or resemble a situation where they may have relied on the effects of the substance to cope. In active addiction, these are bodily cues that follow exposure to discomfort and are accompanied by urges that could lead to a relapse. 

Common Triggers in Addiction Recovery:

  • Emotions, Thoughts, and Memories
  • Senses (smells, sounds, tastes)
  • Outside Triggers (people, places, music, seasons)

Triggers often vary in severity. They can range from intrusive thoughts to an overwhelming anxious need to escape. For most anyone struggling with addiction, this need to escape from overwhelming emotions often triggers the individual to act out on his/her addiction or in a similarly unhealthy way.

While triggers do not force a person to use drugs, they generally increase the likelihood. When considering treatment options, failing to handle triggers could prolong accepting the available help. 

Available Treatment Options

Choosing the right treatment option and/or addiction rehab facility can be a massively challenging process. There are many factors to consider when selecting the best treatment for you. While coming to a decision about the most suitable treatment options for your specific circumstances, there will be many things to consider and discuss. 

Waiting for Treatment

Finding the right treatment for you requires a combination of factors to line up. Not only will you need to have the spark of insight about a better life that’s waiting for you in recovery, you will also need to get connected with a treatment center that has availability. Luckily, at The Haven at Pismo, we have recovery coordinators standing by to help answer your questions about the admission process

Even after accepting the need for help, the triggers don’t go away. Life is full of them. However once aware, you can handle them more appropriately. 

Considering Treatment Options

When considering available treatment options, you may notice that certain choices—even in the discussion about getting help—feel triggering to you. 

You’ll want to consider:

  • The program cost and health insurance coverage
    • Figuring out how treatment will get paid for can be an emotional trigger for several reasons. Depending on your personal financial situation, the treatment cost can severely limit options and may feel like a burden, or further your experience of shame about the pain you’ve caused your family—now financially as well.

 Know that no matter the financial cost, your sobriety is priceless.

At the Haven, we strive to make treatment accessible and after you complete a quick benefits verification, someone from the team will reach out about your options.

  • Distance from home, family, and loved ones
    • Considering how far your closest support team would be from you during treatment and what the visitation policies are at the facility can raise concern. Sometimes even the thought of not seeing loved ones can be taxing on motivation and detrimental to success. 
    • Other times, you may want to travel out of state for treatment for the benefit of being able to get away and focus on your recovery.
  • Facility rules and restrictions
    • Every treatment option and facility will have different rules that will apply to its residents and patients. Often the regulations are created to encourage safety and successful sobriety. Those facing addiction recovery can be triggered by the thought of restrictions like not being permitted to leave the property or to smoke cigarettes. This is important to notice and work through, recognizing the reason behind these rules. 
  • Amenities
    • Each treatment center will have a slightly different setup. Depending on the program, sharing rooms and eating what they offer can create anxiety about that loss of control. Knowing specifics related to rooming, meal options, and recreational opportunities available to you ahead of time can save some volatility later.

Handling triggers while considering all these factors can put a strain on sobriety, sometimes before it even gets started. Staying focused on where you are right now, where your feet are right now, and taking some deep breaths can get you through some of life’s most challenging moments. Relax, breathe, and replace negative thoughts with gratitude and other positive images. Keep a clear mind while you choose what to do.

The Haven is here to walk alongside you in your wellness and recovery journey, and we aim to support you every step of the way. The Haven is dedicated to supporting men and women in their efforts toward recovery from substance use disorders and co-occurring disorders.

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