The road to reducing your alcohol use can be tough. When your body and brain rely on alcohol, it can be difficult to just stop drinking it. In fact, certain things may signal your brain to tell you to want alcohol when you least expect it. These signals work as alcohol use triggers and they can be different for each person. It’s important to identify your own alcohol use triggers so that you can know how to combat them.
Alcohol Use Triggers: What Makes Them Tick?
These types of alcohol use triggers stem from your surroundings. They can include people, places, or events that you connect with alcohol. For example, your environmental trigger could be an old drinking buddy or your favorite sports bar. It’s difficult to avoid these alcohol use triggers because they exist in common places and friends. However, if you know certain environments are your triggers, you can avoid them altogether and not put yourself in a position to want to drink.
Another form of alcohol use triggers can be re-exposure triggers. These types can take place in any case in which you become exposed to alcohol. It may be an environment where you see others around your drinking. However, it may be as subtle as a beer commercial or one that pictures alcohol. In that case, these types of alcohol use triggers can be extremely difficult to deal with. It will be hard to avoid restaurants or commercials where people may be drinking.
Alcohol use triggers can also be due to stress. Many people feel the need to drink when faced with highly stressful situations like huge life changes. Circumstances like divorce, the loss of a loved one, and unemployment can all operate as stress triggers. Likewise, physical problems like an injury, pain, or trouble sleeping can signal you to drink as well. When you can recognize what stressful situations works as your triggers, you can look for healthier ways to deal with that stress.
In short, these triggers can work against your hard work toward becoming sober. Furthermore, they can come from out of nowhere, when you least expect them. That’s why it’s very important to try to identify your triggers so you can prepare yourself for when they hit.