Detox & Drug Rehab In Orange County

Coping With Addiction Triggers

Addiction Triggers
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About Addiction Triggers

For many recovering from addiction avoiding the risk of relapse is a full-time job. The reality is that the brain of an addict, even in recovery, has been rewired to respond to certain stimuli differently. Coping with addiction triggers is an important part of outpatient rehab treatment, especially if individuals plan to return to a familiar environment. Maintaining sobriety while living in an outpatient sober living facility is much easier that reintegrating into a home or work environment. For one thing, access to drugs or alcohol should be impossible, and monitoring of clients is constant in sober living homes. Addiction triggers that existed before admission into a drug treatment program in Huntington Beach will likely follow clients on discharge. This does not mean that progress made while in a drug treatment center wasn’t effective. It just means that the addiction triggers that got client’s caught in dangerous cycles of abuse will still exist.

Clients at our inpatient rehab center work through addiction treatment with psychologists and counselors for weeks creating new healthier behaviors and thought processes. While this intensive therapy is key to any solid heroin treatment center, it is not a guarantee that clients will not struggle with addiction triggers once back at home. Addiction relapse does not have to be a reality, this attitude will likely be self-prophesying. Being aware of personal triggers is important, and taking steps to avoid situations where triggers can be a problem will also be vital to sobriety. One of the more effective ways to deal with this reality is to make a list and an accompanying battle plan. This mindset has been very helpful to many of our clients as it gives them much-needed self-confidence when making changes in living situations.

Some addiction triggers are much more obvious and easy to follow for most recovering addicts, but others can be more difficult to navigate. Because opiate addiction and meth addiction are mind manipulating diseases, clients must be able to set strict guidelines for themselves to avoid falling prey to pitfalls. The following list of addiction triggers is fairly comprehensive and easy to understand for both recovering alcoholics and their loved ones.

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Common Addiction Triggers

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These addiction triggers fall into several sub-groups based on the type of triggers they are. Some addiction triggers are emotional, while others can be environmental or even false beliefs about oneself. Below is a list of the 8 most common triggers and how they can be managed or avoided completely.


Stress tops the list of common drug addiction triggers. Because of the way that stress impacts both the psychological and physical, it can manifest itself through many things. For some, the process of reintegrating into the world outside rehab can cause tremendous stress. For others, it may be something smaller, such as uncomfortable social or work situations. Whatever the reason, stress can easily derail sobriety if not dealt with swiftly and purposefully.


This acronym stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. It is commonly referred to while clients are relearning life skills while in rehab. HALT is used mainly as a way to refer to high-risk situations for recovering addicts. For some clients, the ability to simplify these four physical and emotional symptoms will work to prevent triggers from derailing progress. Clients looking to maintain sobriety should avoid all four of these each hour of the day. While it might mean learning to plan mealtimes carefully, or set bedtime hours, the effort put into making safe changes can limit triggers.


When anyone becomes overly confident in their ability to be successful, the likelihood of developing an indifference to risky behaviors can greatly increase. The same principle applies to recovering addicts. This complacency can quickly derail an addict’s ability to deal with the triggers that will likely occur. Over-confidence can build slowly as an individual adjusts to home life again, causing people to put themselves in volatile situations they are not able to deal appropriately with. Believing you are stronger than you are is dangerous. Keeping yourself on track and avoiding situations is a much safer bet.


Individuals who have been in rehab for heroin addiction often learn things about themselves they didn’t realize were emotional triggers. We often hear from clients that the time spent in bondage to methamphetamine or other stimulant drugs were some of the darkest of their lives. Feelings of guilt and shame can become so powerful that many addicts will not seek help. Once in rehab, those feelings can become addiction triggers. Learning to forgive oneself and take steps forward will be vital for long-term sobriety.


High-Risk Situations

Recovering alcoholics must learn to avoid social situations where alcohol is served. Opiate addicts in recovery will need to steer clear of relationships that contributed to their drug abuse. Attempting to be like everyone else is dangerous. This can even mean avoiding certain neighborhoods or restaurants that were once frequented. Individuals should have an ‘escape-plan’ set in place in case they find themselves in danger of making poor choices. Coastline Behavioral Health believes that all their inpatient rehab clients should make lists of locations and people that are off limits from them once they return home. Also, having a safety net of trusted support friends should be in place for everyone seeking recovery from addiction. Keeping in close contact with a sponsor is also vital to recovery success.


Whether it be a physical illness or an underlying mental illness, clients must take into account the addiction trigger of feeling unwell. Dealing with certain physical illnesses that require daily medication and monitoring can often leave individuals feeling trapped, which can become a trigger for substance abuse. Mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety can cause individuals to become very stressed, which in itself is an addiction trigger. It is important that clients stay abreast of any physical or mental changes that may need additional treatment or counseling.

Our clients often arrive at our rehab center completely broken and separated from everyone and everything they once loved. This obviously takes a toll on clients as they work through their own issues while an inpatient. Drug addiction and alcoholism are lonely diseases. Behavior patterns can become fixed and relearning how to engage with others on a social level can be intimidating. Recovering addicts that choose to isolate themselves following drug treatment in Huntington Beach will often find that isolation becomes a major addiction trigger. Finding a support group that fits an individual’s needs and making deliberate attempts to make healthy friendships is very important.

Living in the Past

For most people, but more so for recovering addicts, glamorizing their past drug use can become a major addiction trigger. Often, people make some of the worst decisions when they find themselves dreaming about a past without including the reality of destruction that took place. Should clients find themselves looking to their past with fondness, immediate action should be made to contact a positive friend or mentor and discuss the problem. Keeping it hidden can cause more problems in the long run. Drug counselors at Coastline Behavioral Health are available 24/7 to speak with you.

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