12 Steps: Triggers in Drug and Alcohol Recovery — Relapse Prevention
Jen: One of the things we’ve learned over
time and through studies is that there are internal triggers that occur long before anyone
picks up a drug or a drink. Debbie: Usually with someone who relapses
a lot, it’s something inside, something you can’t get over or deal with.
Jen: And those are internal things that happen in terms of the changing in one’s thinking,
a change in attitude, something like complacency or feeling as though there’s no program that
can help them. When we begin to get these distorted thought or emotions, that’s an internal
trigger. When we talk about external triggers, those
are behavioral changes, things that we begin to do differently that symbolize a change
and a potential relapse, things like stopping going to meetings or not calling your sponsor.
Most people believe that a relapse is, “Well, I’ve picked up and used, and that’s it,” but
there’s so much more to relapse then just picking up and using.
Andrew: There are a million chances to stop before you go and pick up that drink.
Jen: A relapse occurs weeks, sometimes months before the actual substance is ingested. WE
really want to arm our guests with as much information and knowledge as possible so that
they can begin to identify those triggers and those warning signs when they happen,
so that they can use the tools of recovery to keep themselves safe, and to keep themselves