Monday, April 23, 2012

Thoughts as Triggers

One of the more difficult aspects of recovery is that we are regularly assaulted by thoughts that make using seem more appealing.  Unfortunately for an addict, these thoughts can be intrusive in the early days of recovery.  Indeed, for some people, they don't subside for quite some time.

Thus, a crucial part of recovery is staying in tune with these thoughts, and recognizing which of them has the potential to act as a relapse trigger.  A relapse trigger can briefly be defined as anything that makes relapse to drugs and alcohol more likely.  While it may seem obvious that thoughts are a necessary prerequisite of relapse, thought as triggers is an important area of investigation that everyone in recovery must pursue.  Regardless of what substances you used: methadone, suboxone, opiates or benzos; thoughts occur about using just as much with one as it does with the other. 

Often, this inquiry involves taking a daily inventory of one's thoughts and determining which have the emotional power to act as triggers.   Frequently the thoughts that are most likely to lead us to relapse are those that cause an emotional reaction in us, although that reaction doesn't necessarily need to be negative.  In fact, many of us are just as inclined to relapse after very happy thoughts as we are due to very negative thoughts.  The desire to celebrate after a happy thought can be very strong.

The key to avoiding the influence of thought as triggers is to be very aware of which thoughts are likely to affect us in that way.  Maintaining a level emotional response to thoughts can then allow us to process any thought in a rational manner.  To attain this level of equanimity, however, often requires the assistance of a quality aftercare program such as a counselor.  This is when reputable treatment centers like The Coleman Institute become especially important to recovery.  Not only does The Coleman Institute excel with their state-of-the-art accelerated opiate detox, they also are committed to helping their patients connect with the appropriate level of aftercare once they have completed their detox and had their naltrexone implant.  Getting the assistance of inpatient, outpatient, individual or group counseling can help you to identify emotionally-charged thoughts, and to process them with others before they lead to relapse. 

If you or someone you love needs help getting off of drugs and/or alcohol, please call us at 1.877.77.DETOX (or 1.877.773.3869).  We will be happy to detox them, give them Naltrexone Therapy via the Naltrexone Implant AND help connect them with a quality aftercare facility that can address your individual needs and those of your family!

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