Physical dependence is one of the biggest challenges for a teen trying to overcome substance use—but it’s far from the only one. Addiction has a psychological component that a teen continues dealing with even after completing a substance abuse treatment program. Understanding common substance abuse triggers can help parents better support a teenager in recovery.
Foothills at Red Oak Recovery is a teen substance abuse treatment center. We help adolescent boys understand and overcome the many different elements of addiction. If your teen is struggling with thoughts of relapse or other recovery challenges, we can make a plan to help them.
You can learn more about helping your teen succeed in recovery by calling 866.300.5275 and asking about the programs at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery.
What Is a Trigger?
The word trigger is commonly used to describe something that has a strong, negative psychological effect on a person. Anything can serve as a trigger: people, places, things, and even smells. What all triggers have in common is the effect they have on the person.
Many mental health challenges are associated with triggers. For example, a veteran who developed PTSD after deployment in a war zone might be triggered by the sound of fireworks.
The habitual nature of substance use similarly embeds itself deeply into a person’s psychology. Substance use triggers can result in an overwhelming or unbearable desire to use. Without proper support, the inability to manage triggers is often what leads to relapse.
Common Substance Abuse Triggers for Teens
Triggers are unique to the individual; two teens with a history of using the same substance might be triggered by very different things. However, there are commonalities regarding what is most likely to trigger thoughts of substance use in a teenager.
Some common teen substance abuse triggers to be aware of include:
- Spending time with old friends who use substances
- Seeing depictions of drug use on television or in movies
- Seeing alcohol in stores or at family gatherings
- Listening to song lyrics that include references to substance use
- Family conflict, arguments, or other emotionally stressful situations
- Pressure or challenges related to school, peers, or academic performance
- General feelings of boredom, stress, pain, or sadness
Triggers can be highly disruptive to a teen’s life. Even when a trigger doesn’t lead to relapse, dealing with triggers can be mentally and emotionally draining, take a toll on relationships and academics, and have a negative impact on a teen’s overall quality of life.
How a Teen Substance Abuse Treatment Program Helps with Triggers
If your teen is struggling with substance use triggers, a treatment program can teach them the coping skills they need to thrive.
A teen substance abuse treatment program provides the education and tools to help a teen successfully manage triggers without relapse. A program will educate a teenager on what triggers are, how and why they happen, and how to handle feeling triggered without resorting to substance use.
Programs often encourage teens to proactively list out potentially triggering situations as well as the action steps they’ll take to support recovery and avoid relapse.
Stop Teen Substance Abuse at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery
Substance use triggers tend to lessen over time. If a teen receives the support they need to build a strong foundation in early recovery, they’ll gradually find it easier to deal with triggers. Eventually, triggers become rare rather than frequent.
Relapse prevention should be a central element of a teen treatment program. If your teenage boy needs support with managing substance use triggers, Foothills at Red Oak Recovery can help.