Addiction is a chronic disease for which there is no cure. It can be treated with counseling, therapy, and other coping mechanisms, but it will never go away completely. This is why knowing how to manage your triggers and cravings after rehabilitation is crucial to maintaining a lifetime of sobriety.
No matter how much treatment one receives for addiction, they will never be fully cured. It can be hard to overcome, but it is well worth the fight to have a healthy and fulfilling life. Having the proper coping skills and replacing old habits with new, healthier ones can reduce the risk of relapse after rehab.
Suggestions For Staying Sober After Rehab
Being able to recognize temptations and triggers in your recovery can help you learn to manage or avoid them. This gives you a better chance of staying sober in the future. However, there are specific steps you can take to help you ensure the proper management of these cravings and triggers.
Finding A Strong Support System
Make sure you are surrounding yourself with sober people that are supportive of your recovery and sobriety. Look to support groups, friends, family, and others to see who will be there for you. People that have your best interest at heart and help you maintain sobriety are the ones you want to hold close. People that constantly bring temptations and old habits with them are not worth keeping around. Make sure you have supportive people that are there for you on the good and bad days.
Being In A Sober Environment
Just as surrounding yourself with sober people is crucial to your recovery, placing yourself fin a sober environment is just as important. Be sure that you are in an environment that is adjusted to your new sober lifestyle. You can even do this before returning from rehab by asking family and friends to remove any drug or alcohol paraphernalia from your home.
Once you are out of rehab, try to avoid places that can trigger you or knock you off track during your recovery. Consider moving to a new place that distances you from old places, people, and other possible triggers associated with the life you had before recovery.
When you can see progress happening, you are motivated to keep pushing forward rather than giving up. When you have future plans that involve staying sober that you can consciously work towards, temptations are easier to manage. Acknowledge the good things sobriety brings into your life, and stick to your goals to maintain staying sober.
By writing down things you are grateful for every day, you can better appreciate the life you have been given as well as the opportunity sobriety has given you. You can also simply take time to reflect on things you are grateful for and reap the benefits of this exercise. By realizing the number of things you have to be grateful for in this life, you will be more motivated in recovery.
Going To All Follow Up Appointments
The appointments scheduled with your doctor after rehab are vital to your recovery and maintaining sobriety. Once you are out of rehab, it is easy to fall into the mindset that you don’t need the appointments and you can handle sobriety on your own. Do not believe this; hold yourself accountable by staying on track and going to see your doctor to track your progress.
Replacing Old Habits With New, Healthy Ones
The European Journal of Social Psychology describes how doing something for over two months turns a repeated action into an automatic habit. When you find positive, new, sober routines, the risk of relapse decreases. This is because having a consistent sober routine occupies your brain and decreases your anxiety. Boredom and anxiety are known triggers for relapse, especially when you are isolating yourself due to excessive free time and boredom.
Acquiring Sober Hobbies
When you begin the process of replacing old habits with new, sober ones, make sure that you are finding new ones that you enjoy. Don’t force yourself to take part in activities you are not interested in just because they are sober. There are numerous sober options that you may like. Some examples are:
- Learn a new skill
- Read or journal
- Play a sport
- Try an online course
- Try new recipes
- Plant a garden
Is It Possible To Go To A Party Or Bar Without Drinking/Using?
For those in early recovery, it is best to avoid situations that may lead you into temptation and throw your recovery off track. In fact, it is recommended that all recovered addicts stay away from these environments. Nevertheless, if you find yourself in such a place, there are some steps you can take to help reduce your risk of relapse.
- Make sure you are with people you trust and that are sober. Have them around you at all times at each of these events.
- Have a non-alcoholic drink in your hand at all times. This keeps your senses distracted.
- Arrive late or leave early so you are only at the event for a short amount of time.
- The moment you feel uncomfortable or begin feeling the urge to use or drink is when you should leave immediately.
Staying sober on your own after rehab can be difficult if you do not have the right tools and mindset. Knowing how to keep your recovery on track through consistent sober routines and healthy habits will greatly reduce your risk of relapse. Keep yourself busy by taking up free time with sober activities you enjoy. Life after rehab can be hard, but it is not impossible. If you need help transitioning to life on your own after treatment, consider moving to a sober living house, such as at NorthStar Transitions, to aid in the transition. NorthStar is located in the beautiful state of Colorado and its modern approaches to addiction treatment help clients maintain a life of sobriety. Call today at (303) 558-6400 to learn more.