The saying, “If you hang around the barber shop, you are going to get a haircut,” has been mentioned in recovery circles for decades. Meaning, if you spend time in a bar or around people that are drinking and using, the chances of you picking up a drink or drug increase. Recognizing people, places and situations in your life that place you at risk to drink or use is a vital part of the recovery process.
Discovering triggers allows you to see different options and make healthier choices. Perhaps you get the urge to drink every time you are around a certain family member. Maybe work parties or work stress set your cravings rolling. Perhaps a memory or old traumas have you grabbing for the drink or drug.
Often alcoholics and addicts surround themselves with toxic people that are practicing addictive behaviors. When one puts themselves in these places with these people, it is nearly impossible to practice new behavior. These triggers are much easier to overcome if you identify them and make a plan to practice new, sober behavior in their place.
No one likes change, especially those in the throes of their drug and alcohol addiction. In this condition, they cannot see a way out. They struggle to make changes that could save their life and hold onto the very situations that are detrimental to them.
There is another way. The recovery process includes tools and support to practice new behavior and make the changes that are vital to maintaining sobriety. Some of these changes are quite simple, but not easy.
Changing friends, cutting ties with a toxic partner or family member, getting to AA or NA meetings several times a week, asking for help and seeking professional help are all positive changes that can make a big difference. In fact, inpatient treatment allows the addict or alcoholic to be submersed in a completely different, safe, environment apart from triggers where they can learn and practice recovery behavior.