Don’t Pull the Trigger!

On several occasions in this blog I have made reference to the fact that in order to achieve long lasting and durable recovery an addict must answer the question “why do I use?”. In most cases that answer is not so simple as to be only one item. the question is usually answered by several different contributors including psycho-social dual diagnosis and situations of time, place and content (or stressors) It is the time and place elements that I want to discuss today.

Ever hear the saying that “nothing good happens after midnight. How often do we hear that people we know or professional athletes get into trouble at 3 AM? NY Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress did not suffer his self inflicted gun shot wound in a NY nightclub at 9 PM. Not only was his timing off but his choice of locations on the night before a game can be seriously questioned. Putting yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time has potentially devastating consequences.

Timing and place are even more important to an addict. Understanding that in the midst of a vulnerable period like the early stages of recovery an addict must avoid situations of time and place that jeopardize that recovery. Clearly in most in instances addicts have impaired decision making skills and that is why it is even more important to avoid obvious triggers to relapse.

When talking to a heroin addict yesterday about her plans after the completion of her treatment program she said, “One thing I know for sure; I am not going home”. She has finally learned after many failed attempts at recovery that her home environment is one of her biggest triggers and she will not put herself in that situation again. Contrary to that one alcoholic who left treatment doing beautifully just 2 weeks ago relapse while in Vegas. Why was an alcoholic in Vegas with just 6 weeks of clean time.

Understand your weaknesses. Think before you act. Don’t pull the trigger!

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