Dec 19, 2022

Triggers in Addiction Recovery

Addiction triggers:  Any stimuli that set off the obsession to use drugs or alcohol.

Step 1: Identify your triggers. Once you know what they are, you can be on the lookout for them. Ask yourself questions like “What do I feel when I am around my family members” or “What activities do I participate in that include alcohol or drugs, such as playing golf or attending a concert?”

Step 2: Avoid your triggers: The best strategy is to avoid your triggers altogether. This may mean changing your usual routine or avoiding certain places and people where you know it is going to cause you to crave drugs and alcohol.  For example, if you always get high listening to Underground music, maybe you choose a different genre, like classical.

It is imperative to have a plan in place for how you will deal with them in case you can’t avoid your triggers. This might involve having a support person you can call, like a sponsor or recovery specialist, or having a list of things to do to distract yourself.

It is important to know yourself and not put yourself in situations where you will get cravings or the obsession to drink or use drugs. If you’re not sure you can handle being around drugs and alcohol, it’s best to avoid those situations entirely.  Talking about your triggers with a therapist, sponsor, recovery specialist, or peer can help you better understand triggers and how to deal with them.

Relapse is when someone who has been trying to quit drinking or using drugs starts using or drinking again. One drink often time leads to a return to heavy drinking or drug use. Relapse is common (although not necessary), and it’s often part of the recovery process.

There are numerous reasons why people relapse on drugs and alcohol. Some people relapse because they feel like they can’t handle their triggers. Some relapse because they haven’t built a support system that works for them. Finally, others relapse because they haven’t dealt with the underlying causes that continuously cause them to pick up over and over again.

The important thing is to find what works for you and stick with it.  Everyone is different so everyone’s recovery will look different. Relapse is not a failure, but it is something to be treated with sincerity. If you do relapse, don’t hesitate to get help.

What happens if I Relapse? Contact Massachusetts Centers for Addiction.

You should consider getting more help for your alcohol and/or drug abuse issues by contacting us at Massachusetts Center for Addiction. Massachusetts Center for Addiction’s program is designed specifically to address all causes of alcohol and drug misuse. Massachusetts Center for Addiction developed a program for men and women to achieve long-term recovery. Our facility was founded on the principles of meeting people where they are on their journey and helping them to navigate through their own specific situations, leading them to a life of health and prosperity.

To learn more about Massachusetts Center for Addiction, contact our admissions team to begin your journey!

MCA Staff
Written By

MCA Staff

The Massachusetts Center for Addiction expert staff is dedicated to helping individuals overcome... Read More

Contact Us



1515 Hancock Street, Suite 300
Quincy, MA 02169

Phone Number

24/7 Support

Start your recovery with
Massachusetts Center for Addiction

Our team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer any questions you may have. Give us a call today and begin your journey toward long-term recovery.

MCA Contact Form