Having a BLAST with Addiction?

Bored
Lonely
Angry
Stressed
Tired

The concept of BLAST is not a new one. It has been floating around the addiction world for so long I don’t even know where to tag its origin. It’s an important piece of the addiction puzzle though– to identify the emotional triggers you have that precede your compulsive behaviors. So try to take a breath between the triggering thought to go use and going to use, and think about what’s driving it – are you bored? are you lonely? are you angry? are you stressed? or are you tired? More than likely you said yes to one or more of these questions. Next, you need to find a replacement behavior to that of the compulsion, or in others words, an appropriate coping skill.

First: write a list of your preferred healthy coping ideas
Second: apply an appropriate method of coping to each driving emotion. For example, if you like to read, though that is a great coping skill, it might not be so appropriate or useful when you are lonely because reading is a solitary experience. Perhaps joining a basketball game at the gym or going for a walk with a friend would be a better coping skill from your list when you’re feeling lonely.
Third: once you have written several coping skills for each emotional trigger, keep the list in a handy place that you can look at when you are triggered.

Being aware of your triggers is just the beginning of the battle but a very important piece. Finding alternative coping skills specifically targeting the driving emotion once you are aware is the next step in changing the behavior. Getting help to understanding the deeper issues is the next step. Whether the compulsive behavior is drugs or alcohol related, or pornography, or gaming, or eating, or any other unwanted behavior you feel a slave to, there is help! So reach out and take it!