Breaking the trigger-thought-craving-use- process and how to deal with addiction. In a recent article, researchers noted that a long history of alcohol dependence clearly reduces cognitive, learning, memory and motor functions. So how does one stop this viscous cycle and prevent such functions from worsening? First one must understand that there is a common process that leads up to a relapse. It starts with a trigger, (e.g. a person, object, feeling or a time of day) which leads to the thought of using. This can then cause a craving, which eventually will lead to a relapse or other addictive behavior.
The key to preventing a relapse is to stop the “thought” before it leads to a craving. So, for instance, an addict might experience a trigger such as being home alone on a Friday night. This trigger may create a thought or many thoughts about using, gambling or other addictive behaviors. It is imperative at this point for the addict to stop this thought process before it starts causing cravings. One way to interrupt these thoughts is by thinking the thought through. For example, what will happen if I choose to relapse? I might get arrested and my family might be disappointed in me. Another example is I may lose my job or even the custody of a child, etc.
Another manner to break this thought process is to call a supportive person in your life, whether it be a spouse, family member, friend or another person in recovery. Going for a walk might be another technique to break this cycle.
Whatever it takes for you to stop this way of thinking will help reduce cravings and reduce your chances of relapse! Good luck and let’s break the cycle so we can remain of sound mind and keep the people or things we cherish most in our lives. To deal with addiction is an active & conscious choice.