Health Areas

Addiction got in the way, rehab helped me reclaim my life

Every morning, you choose between either tea, coffee, milk or a glass of water for breakfast.

Some skip breakfast.

That is a choice too!

Did you know that some of these routine choices could be triggers that lead you to drug and substance addiction relapse?

Kim fought addiction to alcohol and heroine for more than two decades but recently he made a tough decision to stay clean and sober. His discharge a fortnight ago at Neuva Esperanza rehabilitation centre encouraged in Membley him to evaluate the triggers that led him to a relapse.

It is not the end of the world

The three triggers that make you sink deeper into alcohol and substance abuse are;




Eric Patterson writing for the American Addiction Centre, in April this year acknowledges that the phrase “People, Places, and Things” refers to triggers. These are the problematic cues that lead to a craving, which is a strong—often overwhelming—desire to obtain and use your substance of abuse.

According to Kim, staying sober means assertively driving any thought, feeling, and action that you experience towards a positive tangent- away from alcohol and heroine.

The People

It is strongly tied to the people who evoke a strong emotional attention to you.

Are you compelled to take alcohol, use heroine or any other addictive substance when you are with friends, colleagues, family members or a partner?

Kim worked as a matatu tout in Nairobi. He acknowledges that the urge to take alcohol even during working hours was greatly influenced by workmates.

The Places

Certain locations play a great role in encouraging substance and drug abuse. These include;

  • Your favourite pub
  • A friend’s house
  • Parking lot
  • A field
  • Abandoned building
Some days are dark, but there is hope

The Things

This serves as the largest class of triggers of drug and substance abuse. This is related to the psychological mood of a person that could drive them to addiction.

These include;

  • Feelings like anxiety, loneliness, excitement, sadness etc
  • It could also be associated to events like going to a party, sitting a test, sex, anniversaries, holidays and even getting paid.

Wangui Mucara, the Executive Director at Nueva Esperanza Treatment and Wellness Centre in Membley, Nairobi,  acknowledges that an opportunity to become sober needs to be supported by a personal will to achieve sobriety.

“A comprehensive treatment plan to be drawn within a specified time while the individual gets support that will encourage a sober lifestyle and assist the individual to maintain sobriety,” Wangui says.

Identify the triggers, manage them


The purpose of treatment is to encourage the person undergoing rehabilitation to focus on the role of people, places and things in contributing to their addiction, Wangui adds.

She acknowledges that an evaluation on the role of these three classes of triggers promotes recovery if the individual makes an assertive decision to effectively manage them.

How has your decision-making led you to an addiction?

This is a good time to evaluate the role of People. Places and Things in your life.



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