Understanding and living with substance abuse is challenging whether you’re the addict or the loved one trying to cope with it.

You cannot control everything. You have no influence over what other people say or do, and life will create circumstances that are uncomfortable. If you’re a recovering addict you know this, you’ve heard it a hundred times, and you’ve lived it. Yet there are things that make you want to use again. One of the most important aspects of recovery and staying sober is recognizing triggers – the things that make you want to justify using again.

There are many types of triggers, all of which can be a recipe for relapse. Recognizing these triggers and putting a stop to them can help you or a loved one avoid the trap of relapse and stay on the journey of recovery.

According to addictioncenter.com, triggers for relapse generally fall into three categories: emotional, environmental, or exposure. It is important to recognize these triggers and identify what makes you or your loved one justify wanting to use again.

Is it emotional? These types of triggers can be both positive and negative. Positive triggers can be the memories of celebrations in the past – good memories having fun with friends, falling in love, or achieving an important goal. Negative triggers can be memories of heartache, such as the loss of a loved one or a bad break-up. Memories that are so painful you wish to be numb or forget them entirely.

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