Recovering from substance abuse issues is a lifelong journey. It requires disciple, perseverance, and patience. Unfortunately for many patients, they feel that they have accomplished the most challenging part once they have completed their treatment program. However, that is rarely the case.
Staying sober is often more difficult than getting sober. Once a patient is back out in the world and reintroduced to their old routine, the dangers of old habits begin to reveal themselves. With that in mind, we put together a list of 5 standard techniques to help sure that your drug recovery process continues to go smoothly even after leaving rehab. Continue reading the article below to learn more
Table of Contents
The Critical Moment Isn’t When You Decide to Use; it’s When You Open Yourself to the Triggers
One of the first steps to maintaining your sobriety is identifying your triggers and avoiding them at all costs. For example, going to a sports bar to eat wings and watch a game may be a trigger to drink alcohol (which often loosens inhibitions and leads to drug use).
Walking through the liquor section of the grocery store may be another. Even a simple card game with your buddies might bring about temptation. Whatever it is for you, do your best to steer clear of your triggers. Many relapses occur when you have no intention of using but are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Create Positive Habits and Activities to Replace Drug Use
One of the biggest obstacles to drug recovery is breaking the old habits associated with using. Things like smoking marijuana before going to a concert or drinking a few beers after work are every day. It is essential to develop healthy alternatives to these types of behaviors.
True Sacrifice Goes Beyond Simply Giving Up Drugs
The fact of the matter is that continuing on the path of sobriety will take significant sacrifices. Frequently patients find this includes things they didn’t expect or weren’t prepared for.
It may be such things as not attending live sporting events or even no longer hanging out with certain friends. And remember, if it were easy to quit using drugs or drinking, people would never fail.
Don’t Become Overconfident or Lackadaisical in Your Sobriety
One of the biggest causes of relapse comes when you have been making fantastic drug recovery. This causes people to become complacent and think that something small like one beer during the game or a glass of wine on date night won’t be a problem.
Overconfidence can lead to several different ways to stumble. Things like missing meetings, failing to check in with sponsors or therapists, and going to places where temptations are present are all typical behavior for people who feel like they “have beat it” for good. Remember, sobriety is a daily battle, and it is never over.
Create New Rituals for Special Occasions
Take stock of your routines and rituals during holidays, anniversaries, family birthdays, summer BBQs, and other gathering types. Sometimes the best thing you can do is change the way you celebrate. This allows you to avoid the old triggers and create new, more positive behaviors.
Instead of a BBQ pool party, opt for a picnic on the beach or by a lake. Instead of a fancy restaurant, try your hand a whipping up a 5-star dinner at home. Just do something different that doesn’t associate the event with drug or alcohol use.
Bonus Tip: Don’t Give Up if You Slip Up In Your Drug Recovery Process
One of the biggest obstacles to maintaining sobriety is when patients allow one setback to become a short or long-term binge. Just because you give in during a moment of weakness doesn’t mean you have to throw all of your hard work and sacrifice away.
Remember everything that you have learned, overcome, and endured. You have already made great strides in living a longer, healthier life. It doesn’t matter if you only made it to day ten or day 10,000. The next day is a new day. Pick yourself up and make it the next first day of your sobriety.
Read Alos: Drug Addiction Treatment