Triggers for substance abuse addiction can be wide-ranging and diverse, and they will sometimes even show up in the form of periods of time or common events. For some people, for instance, the summertime itself is a form of trigger for substance abuse, particularly among some who deal with alcohol addiction — why is this, and what can be done to combat this form of trigger?
At Moonlight Mountain Recovery, we’re proud to offer caring, helpful addiction recovery solutions to patients throughout Boise, including both drug and alcohol rehab programs for those dealing with substance abuse addiction. Whether for alcohol or any other substance that may trigger your cravings during the summer months, what are some general themes to keep in mind when it comes to resisting these triggers? Here are a few.
Why is Summer Sometimes a Trigger?
Firstly, it’s important to understand that for some people, the warmer weather and longer days of summer can actually increase feelings of loneliness and isolation. If you’re used to spending time with friends or family during the summer but are now in recovery, this can be a tough transition.
In addition, many social activities revolve around alcohol use during the summer, such as barbecues, pool parties, and so on. This can make it difficult to stay sober when everyone around you is drinking.
Finally, summer can also be a trigger because it’s a time of year when people often let their guard down and relax more than usual. This can lead to relapse if you’re not careful.
With the right resources and approaches, however, you can stave off these triggers and remain on the path to recovery. Our next several sections will go over some simple ways of doing so.
Remain Connected to Support Network
Throughout the year, and especially during periods where you know you’re particularly susceptible to triggers, it’s important to remain connected to your support network. This might include friends, family members, sponsors, therapists, and others who can help you stay on track.
Talk to these people about your triggers and how you’re feeling. They can provide valuable support and perspective when you’re struggling.
Plan Sober Activities
A great way to combat summer triggers is to proactively plan sober activities. This way, you’ll have something fun and positive to look forward to that doesn’t involve alcohol or drugs.
Some activity ideas include going to the beach, hiking, biking, swimming, attending concerts or festivals, and so on. The key is to find things that you enjoy and that will help you stay distraction from your cravings.
In general, it’s a good idea to keep yourself busy when you’re in recovery. This can help you avoid boredom, which can lead to relapse.
During the summer, this might mean taking on a new hobby, signing up for classes, volunteering, or perhaps even getting a part-time job. The important thing is to find something that you’re passionate about and that will help take your mind off of your addiction.
Be Honest — With Yourself and Others
Honesty is a vital part of many 12-step programs and other addiction recovery resources, and for good reason. When you’re honest with yourself, it’s easier to identify when you’re starting to slip up. This way, you can take steps to get back on track before it’s too late.
In addition, being honest with others about your addiction and recovery can help you stay accountable. If you have friends or family members who are supportive of your sobriety, tell them about your triggers and let them know how they can help you.
Have Some Coping Strategies Available
In case of any situation where you feel like you might start to relapse, it’s helpful to have some coping strategies available. These might include things like going for a walk, listening to music, calling a friend, attending a meeting, or anything else that can help you get through the craving.
The important thing is to have a plan in place so that you know what to do when temptation strikes.
Expect Some Challenges
It’s a simple reality that addiction recovery is never easy, and there will always be challenges along the way. During the summer, you might find that your triggers are more difficult to deal with than usual.
This is normal and to be expected. Just remember that if you take the right precautions and have a solid support network in place, you can get through anything that comes your way.
Learn Something New
Whether we’re talking about a new skill, a new hobby, or something else entirely, learning something new can be a great way to combat addiction triggers.
This is because it can help you take your mind off of your cravings and give you a sense of accomplishment. In addition, it can help you build new and healthy habits that will last long after the summer is over.
The summertime offers several great opportunities for this sort of thing. For instance, you might take a cooking class, learn to play an instrument, or start practicing meditation.
The summertime can be a difficult period for anyone in recovery from addiction. However, by taking the right precautions and remaining connected to your support network, you can get through anything that comes your way. Just remember to be honest with yourself, stay busy, and have some coping strategies available. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
For more on this, or to learn about any of our addiction recovery programs in Boise or nearby areas, speak to our caring staff at Moonlight Mountain Recovery today.