Staying sober after a recent addiction recovery is not easy. Once you win the battle against addiction, you need to learn how to get sober and stay sober.
A relapse is the last thing you want, but this is still very common among people who’re recovering from drug addiction. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, there is a 40 to 60 percent relapse rate in the first year after stopping drug use. Only a few people manage to stay clear after drug treatment.
Learning how to stay sober after treatment is essential because relapse is the last thing you want after all the effort. This article has some tips that can help you achieve that.
Avoid Risky Situations
When you recover from your addiction in a supported environment, moving back to your normal life can be a tough transition. Many trigger situations can fuel the thought of wanting to go back to the drugs.
Returning to your old neighborhood and meeting the same friends and family may make it hard to resist the temptation. If someone in your family still drinks or you have friends who use drugs, temptations can be hard to resist.
One way to avoid such situations is to stay away from your drinking buddies or any family member who still uses the drugs. If you used to pass through your favorite drinking place after work, you should consider changing the route.
Believe it or not, you’re not alone in your addiction recovery journey. Many people have gone through the same ordeal and are willing to share their experiences. Avoid those who’ve gone through the treatment and relapsed because you need some encouragement here.
Your first support comes from close friends and family who’re willing to take you through the situation. Make sure you only surround yourself with sober people.
If you’re attending an event like a wedding or a party, be in the company of sober people who want the best for you. To avoid drinking at parties, you can be a designated driver.
You can also find a community support group in your area for people going through the same struggle as yours. Attend different meetings where you can discuss your struggles and share solutions. Involve yourself in mindful group activities that can help you get sober and recover faster.
Learn How to Stay Sober by Getting Busy
It’s easy for the mind to start thinking about bad habits when you’re idle. If you don’t have a job that keeps you engaged most of the time, try finding something to keep you busy. If you get out of work early, engage in some classes, or register for a gym.
An exercise routine helps release endorphins, the brain chemicals responsible for the good feeling. You can also consider volunteering for a good cause or learn new activities such as dancing. Find friends who share the same interests and engage with them.
Understand Your Triggers
People get into drugs or drink alcohol for different reasons. Triggers can be people, places, situations, or cravings. You need to understand your external triggers to avoid a relapse.
You also need to understand your internal triggers to know how to handle yourself. Internal triggers include emotions, feelings, or thoughts associated with the substance. Identifying internal and external triggers helps you handle the risks and prepare ways to avoid them.
If your external triggers are people such as friends, find ways to disassociate with them the correct way. If it’s emotional triggers such as stress, job loss, or grief, find ways to overcome or seek psychological help.
Don’t Dwell on Past Mistakes
Many people got into addiction due to different reasons. Others made grave mistakes on their way to recovery. Once you get out of the situation and working on how to stay sober from drugs, you should forget about your past mistakes.
Harboring the shame and feeling guilty about your past will not help with the situation. You should not have any negative feelings about your past behavior. If you lost a loved one in the process, think of how to rekindle the relationship instead of feeling ashamed.
Sometimes you may feel ashamed simply for getting into the addiction in the first place. Believe it or not, people no longer care about how you became addicted, but the fact that you’re recovering. Accepting that you have a problem and walking down the road to recovery is the most important thing at this stage.
Feeling responsible for the damage that your situation caused will not help you avoid drug abuse relapse and stay sober. Learn from your past mistakes instead, and work on bringing back your life to normal. Harboring guilty thoughts can become toxic and interfere with your recovery process.
Celebrate Every Achievement
Your journey to staying sober is going to be hard. All kinds of temptations will come your way, and saying no will be the hardest decision to make. Not everyone goes through the same process successfully.
If you manage to overcome all the temptations, you can earn yourself a pat on the back. Award yourself for every little achievement that you make. Acknowledge and the hard work you’ve put into it.
Always keep motivating yourself to remind yourself why you took the bold step. However, be careful not to reward yourself with more drugs or alcohol. Think of activities that can support your new lifestyle, like going on a vacation with family.
Congratulations! You Did It
Recovering fully from alcohol and drug addiction is a bold step that not everyone has the courage to make. Accepting that you have a problem and willingness to find help takes you several steps towards your recovery. Even after recovery, don’t forget to learn different tips on how to stay sober.
If you need expert help through the recovery journey, contact Oasis Recovery. Let our experts help you join many patients who’ve recovered from a problem bigger than yours. You can also seek advice on behalf of your loved one and help them recover.