Avoid the triggers in recovery

When in recovery after addiction rehabilitation, it is wise to avoid the triggers that can send us back to drink, gambling or drugs. It has usually been quite a hard path to get clean and sober and to go through the withdrawals and detox but so many of us time and again having gone through that hard part, slip up and end up having to go through it all again. So we need to make as certain as we can that, having hauled ourselves up the metaphorical ladder, we do not go back down that snake to have to start again (and possibly from further down than we were before).


All of us had so many reasons or excuses that we used to justify our drinking or using: a hard day at work, an exchange of words with a family member, a friend that let us down etc. Many of these were actually just excuses but some of them were more associated with drinking than others. These may have been positive things in our lives – or just habits. I was advised to avoid pubs in my early days, which sounds rather obvious.

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Early days of recovery

However strong you think your recovery is, in the early days it is a very bad idea to go into pubs and put yourself in the way of temptation. As my rehab counsellor used to say, if you keep going to the hairdressers, you will eventually end up getting a haircut. By the same token, if you keep going to the pub, you will end up having an alcoholic drink. So don’t. Another big no no is mixing with drinking or using friends especially if most of your association with them centred round drinking or using. If they are true friends they will not drink or use when you are with them or will give you a break from their company without putting any pressure on you while you consolidate your recovery.

Staying clean and sober

Staying clean and sober is all about the ‘now’, doing it for today and this moment. That is why we have to be constantly vigilant. In my early drug rehab I went to a professional do at which cheese and wine were served. I knew this would be so, so I went for just a short time, mentally preparing myself before I went.

Nearly succumbing to having a drink on the basis that it would be ‘lovely’ to relax and drink with friends – and I could always start again tomorrow. Am so glad I didn’t as the ladder for the next day would have been steep and rickety to climb. So I survived that. But about 6 weeks later when I was actually stronger and on a firmer recovery path, I was in Marks and Spencer and they were offering alcohol to test from little plastic cups. I was not mentally prepared for this and was caught off guard. It would have been so easy just to have a little sip…. but again i am proud to say I didn’t. But I had to avert my eyes and give it quite a wide berth.

Avoid the triggers in recovery

So be very careful in the early weeks and months after addiction rehab treatment. Avoid the triggers in recovery when you know they are coming or when you can – and be alert at all times!

If you have a drink or drug related problem, please call 01462 851414 for confidential help and advice