Yorkton man brings awareness to triggers for those dealing with addiction
YORKTON -- A man recovering from addiction is trying to raise awareness for those with substance abuse disorder.
While watching the news earlier this week he realized some of the visuals may be hard on those early in their recovery.
"An addict who is say freshly out of the residential treatment program or a detox centre will be sitting there watching the news one day when all of a sudden there it is boom right in your face," Bob Wilson said.
He continued to say a visual of drugs, even when not being explicitly used, can be enough to trigger a response.
"To see this that's what sets their mind off and the next thing you know they can't shake it, the mind's obsessed, their body's wanting it and next thing you know they're out and they're looking to use again and that could be their very last use," added Wilson.
Rand Teed, an addictions counsellor, said those with substance abuse disorder have re-trained their brain to have an anticipatory dopamine response to anything having to do with their drug of choice.
These triggers can be a location, a smell, a sound or an image.
"In the news pieces, if a person, for example, sees somebody having a drink or a bottle of alcohol spilled on the ground that's going to trigger their brain response to alcohol," explained Teed.
Teed says part of the recovery process is to replace and overpower this old pathway with a new one that has a significant amount of pleasure with it as well.
"In many ways in order to do that you have to be able to subject yourself to that older pathway and learn that you actually do have the power to override it.”
Both Teed and Wilson agree a form of trigger warning could be beneficial to those in recovery.
"I mean Netflix has them, a warning, drug abuse or drug use in this movie and such, so if you're going to show it, if you have to show it, I understand," Wilson said.
Wilson added addiction touches everyone and support is important with teed echoing that recovery is possible.