Big Congrats for getting off Heroin. For me, in terms of the difference between a Trigger and a Craving would be, let's say I get angry with my Husband, of I feel frustrated and overwhelmed, or just pissed off at life, or I'm in a "Drugstore," that could be a "Trigger" for me to want to take something to feel "Numb" or "better."
A "Craving" for me would be just me wanting to take some Opiates to get that "High" feeling I like. I can get "Cravings" whether I'm feeling bad or good, it doesn't matter.
However, since I never got my drugs off the street, but through manipulating Dr.'s, Dentists, etc. being in a Dr. or Dentist's office is a big Trigger for me, as well as just being in a Drugstore, or even driving by a Clinic where I've gotten scrips from.
Sometimes it take us awhile to be able to identify our Triggers and Cravings, and what the difference is for us. I have learned alot by going to AA and NA Meetings, which I don't see too many people mentioning here on this Forum.
I went to meetings for 3 years before I was actually able to really want to stop using and change my life around, and now I feel like I'm back at Square 1, because one of my biggest Triggers was my "Chronic Pain." I have bad Arthritis in my neck and spine.
A few months ago my Dr. prescribed Tramadol, and told me it was not addictive. I never abused it, or took more than prescribed, but in the beginning I was amazed at how well it worked. I felt like I had my life back again. I was exercising to build up the muscles around my joints, I felt positive in my recovery, and then after taking if for 3 months I wasn't feeling hardly any pain, so I stopped taking it, and went into the Withdrawals from Hell again.
I did some research on the internet and found this Website, and alot of people who had the same thing happen to them.
My Dr. told me to go back on it and Taper, but even that has been unbearable, so I've switched over to Vicodin and am tapering off that instead since it doesn't seem to be so awful for me as tapering off the Tramadol was.
I know there will be the day soon when I take my last pill, and I'm preparing myself for that by taking supplements and going slow tapering off the Vicodin.
As far as your own Personal Triggers and Cravings, try keeping a Journal and writing down every time you feel like using and what was happening at the time. That should give you a pretty good idea of what yours are.
When you have one, immediately get yourself out of the situation if it's something situational, call someone you can talk to about it, write it down, and sometimes you just have to "sit on your hands" so to speak until it passes.
I wish you all the best in your recovery.
Good description Badshadow....triggers are things that will repeatably remind of of use
it can be as simple as hereing pills rattle in a bottle...or seeing a pill bottle full of pills
for I/V users sometimes its the smell of a match burning...or the sight of a syringe
one of mine is seeing liqure bottles full of the whiskey..I have to avoid the liqure isle in supper markets...triggers often lead to cravings....first its a thought if we dont nip it in the bud there it can become an obsession once we start obsessing on it it can very well become an action...it is important to learn your triggers once learned it is best to try to avoid them
if you cant be ready to deal with the thought process that happense afterwords ..you need to have a self talk in place...tell yourself all the negative things about living in active addiction also tell yourself about all the positive things about living clean and sober
I agree with Badshadow that A/Aand N/A are good places to start learning the skills and tools to identify both triggers as well as cravings...a good substance abuse conlor works to as well as addiction therapists but with aftercare and some time you will learn what yours are and how to deal with them CONGRATS on 12 days and also on working on your recovery addiction is a very treatable disease good luck and God bless.....Gnarly
For me there one and the same They are anything that make me want to use. I don't want to go into details because discussing triggers and craving can bring on triggers and cravings it for other members its almost double edged sword.Now writing them do is a great thing will realize thing that set you off you never even realized . congrats on your 12 day keep it .
For me triggers are outside my body and cravings happen inside my body
Becca summed it up the best........sara
good post badshadow couldnt have said it better myself
also i think that triggers develop with time.... they become less powerful with time. At first, everything was a trigger for me cause my life was on pills every day. But now, it is quite different :) it gets better with time but we can't let our guards down, this is for sure.
There is so much excellent information here. For me, It is the cravings for that "high" and "get up and go" feeling that gets me. It wasn't until yesterday that I discovered there can be triggers. After a very upsetting phone converstaion with my Dr's Nurse, I started trying to justify in my mind why it would be ok to take an extra pill....but luckily, I turned here and vented instead (Thank you all for listening). Another thing I noticed is once there is a trigger, then the cravings get even worse. The more time goes by, the more I see just how bad these pills are and see more and more how devistatingly addictive they are. I never in my whole life thought I would ever be a drug addict of any kind...but here I am. What scares me is knowing that for the rest of my life, I will always have to keep my guard up because once an addict, always an addict....and I fear that one day, I will end up back to square one. The real pain worries me also. As I take less and less of the pain medicine, the real hand pain I had to being with, the whole reason for getting on pain medicine to being with, really is showing its ugly face.
I have been keeping a Diary of sorts for my weaning program. In it, I add how I was feeling mentally during the day and also how bad the cravings were. As I looked back at it, I noticed that in times of stress, my cravings were at their highest...and that is bad because my life is extreamly stressful all the time. A few months ago, my doctor asked me if I would like for him to write me a prescription for the stress. When I asked him what, he said Xanax....I immediatley said no. My sister is on those and when she takes them, she is loopy as all get out....plus I did some extra research on them and discovered they are also addictive...why would he even ask me if I wanted that....thankfully I see how my sister is like on them so I said no.....I will just find a natural way to handle stress like exercise or yoga or something.....no more prescriptions for me EVER!!!!
i still get a little stressed when someone flicks a packet of sugar or sweet n low to get the powder to go to the bottom. spoons, especially if they are bent a little out of shape. the sound of a lighter that has to be repeatedly flicked before it will stay lit. pill bottle noises. it's like miniature post traumatic stress reaction. how it transports your mind back in time. powerful stuff! but you know what? i love coping with things now. i have started to get off on challenges. it's a great buzz! peace, sway