Questions From Newcomers: Recovery triggers my addiction, so what can I do?

I only think about drugs while in rehab. Outside of the rooms in real life drugs are not always on my mind. How am I supposed to recover when recovery is my strongest trigger?

Recovery is not your trigger.  Your addiction is your trigger.

Once the drugs are out of our systems, we begin to feel better physically, but the changes in our brains are still there, telling us that we need our drugs.  This is strongest during the period immediately after we stop using, when we are in rehab.  We are always drawn to the familiar, unless we make a conscious effort to direct our thoughts elsewhere.  If we fail to distract ourselves by becoming involved in our treatment, we will certainly end up thinking about drugs. We have to immerse ourselves in our program and drink in the new ideas and ways of thinking.  Otherwise they will not sink in, any more than you can learn Latin by keeping the book beneath your pillow.

When we’re back in “real life,” it’s easy to distract ourselves.  We can sleep when we please, eat and associate with others when we please, and do as we please.  Unfortunately, unless we are consciously keeping our attention on our program, we are likely to fall back into our old habits, associate with the wrong people, and end up in relapse.  We avoid that by hanging out with sober people, not our buddies in the pool hall.  We go to meetings, not parties (unless they are sober parties).  We make new friends.  Most importantly, we get a sponsor, become active in our fellowship, and become serious about our recovery.  If we are hearing about drugs or alcohol at meetings instead of solutions to problems, then we find different meetings.

If we are talking ourselves out of doing these things, or finding excuses for not doing them, then we are already in relapse and it’s only a matter of time until we use.

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