Navigating Social Media and Digital Triggers After Arizona Rehab

Navigating Social Media and Digital Triggers After Arizona Rehab

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Completing an Arizona rehab program is cause for celebration. During this time, most people take the time to reach out to friends and family to let them know they are back on the right track. For many, that includes social media platforms and other digital communication options. Although social media has made contacting loved ones quick and efficient, it also creates challenges for maintaining sobriety.

If you’re beginning your sober life after getting treatment for substance abuse, being careful with digital triggers is vital. Learn why digital triggers are dangerous and how you can keep yourself safe.

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Addiction Treatment: Understanding Triggers

Triggers are feelings, thoughts, and memories that remind you of drug and alcohol use or the lifestyle you used to lead while battling addiction. Triggers are not just feelings but are tied to your brain chemistry.

Substance use disorders change your brain’s structure, leading you to crave alcohol or drugs physically. You may experience sensations like anxiety or psychological effects that don’t allow you to focus on anything but the craving.

understanding triggers after arizona rehab

Certain people, situations, and feelings can be cues that activate that craving reflex. Some common triggers are:

  • Challenging emotions
  • Stress
  • Mental illness
  • Physical illness
  • Romantic relationships
  • Isolation
  • Certain people
  • Certain physical locations
  • Specific objects

These days, staying away from triggers is not as easy because of the reliance on social media and all of the other digital triggers that you come across in your daily life. Understanding what cues cravings is the first step. However, knowing how to tackle triggers in the digital age requires a bit of creativity.

The Dangers of the Digital Age for People in Recovery

Around the world, close to 3.5 billion people use social media. While there are lots of positive qualities about these sites, including helping reduce isolation, they can also negatively impact your mental health.[1] For those with addictions, the dangers can be even greater.

Dangers of Social Media after Rehab - Relapse Triggers

After completing treatment for drug or alcohol addiction, you know that staying away from bars or places where drugs are available is essential. Doing this can be very simple simple. However, avoiding images of people drinking or using drugs is not easy if you’re on social networking sites. You may encounter pictures or videos of friends enjoying a drink or even celebrities you admire having a great time.

Glorification of substance use is typical on social media as well as on television and in movies. This attitude toward substances makes them look fun while minimizing the dangers they pose. In the early days after leaving an Arizona rehab, these images may make you miss your addiction, which puts you in danger of relapsing.

The impact of social media on mental health and addiction relapse

Social media and mental health are another concern. Those with anxiety disorders and depression often experience a worsening of their symptoms if they spend too much time on social media. Since mental health concerns can lead you to use again, avoiding anything that can trigger those negative emotions is essential.

Seeing posts from friends or family members that remind you of a situation when you were using can also trigger you. This is common with sites like Facebook, which sends you “memories” of past posts. You have no time to prepare for these triggers, making their effect more powerful.

Another issue you may encounter when using social media after your recovery is the need to meet the expectations of others. You may feel shame at having cravings when people are cheering you on. Additionally, you may feel pressured to post about your recovery or any challenges you face. All of this adds pressure and stress that can put your sobriety at risk.

Information overload may also put a strain on your mental health. When you first begin your recovery, you might need to avoid watching the news or anything else that bombards you with potentially upsetting information.

Social media use can itself become an addiction. This is because it triggers the pleasure centers in the brain, giving you a different kind of “high.” You want to avoid substituting one addiction for another.

Addiction Recovery: How to Manage Digital Triggers

The dangers of digital triggers are real, but so are the solutions. As with any other kind of trigger, having a clear plan for dealing with it is essential. This might mean turning to a sponsor, reaching out to loved ones, or several other actions.

Planning and dealing with digital triggers after arizona rehab

You can decrease your chances of encountering digital triggers by limiting your use of social media. You may give yourself just a few minutes daily to check on friends and family and then avoid the various apps. Some people also benefit from deleting the app entirely from their phone or other device.

It can be an excellent idea to let loved ones know that you’ll not be online for a while or that you’ll only use social media in a limited way. You can also ask them not to tag you in pictures or send anything to you through social media so you don’t receive notifications that might tempt you to turn to the app.

Arizona Rehab: Turn to Desert Cove Recovery

Managing a substance use disorder and navigating all of the challenges that addiction recovery poses is never easy, especially after Arizona rehab. Still, it can be much more complicated if you have the added stress that social media and other digital media pose. Limiting or eliminating social media is essential for people who have just ended a treatment program and are beginning their recovery.

At Desert Cove Recovery, we offer various treatment options to help you as you begin your recovery journey. From extended care programs to intensive outpatient programs and holistic treatments, we provide the exact care you need to find your sobriety once more.

Take that first step and contact us at Desert Cove Recovery today.