Although achieving sobriety is an incredible accomplishment that’s worth celebrating, staying sober after going to a rehab facility is an entirely different hurdle. Rehab facilities usually provide a supportive living environment that helps build a solid foundation of sobriety by promoting safety and comfort. Additionally, rehab centers have adopted many physical barriers that can help keep your old habits at bay. Such a setting makes it much easier for people struggling with substance use disorders to stay clean. Even so, rehab centers will ensure you are fully prepared for your return home.
Though you’ll be provided with the cognitive skills and tools necessary to cope with life after treatment, learning how to navigate your new lifestyle successfully might take some work. For instance, relapsing might seem like the last thing you would do after completing your treatment. However, the truth is that relapses are quite common, especially for those who are new to recovery.
As exciting as the thought of moving on from rehabilitation might be, this transition can be a tough experience. Once you get back home, the setting will no longer be the same. Following the conclusion of your rehabilitation program, you will move into a totally different environment from that of the rehab center. While you are home, you will probably be exposed to several of your addiction triggers, greatly increasing the risk of a relapse.
A relapse might begin long before you actually indulge in an old habit. It can sneak up on you, especially if you fail to recognize the warning signs. Temptations are perhaps the most challenging triggers you’ll encounter when you return to normal living. For instance, you might find yourself in a situation that sparks the urge to indulge in old habits. Your chances of maintaining long-term sobriety will be much higher if you learn to recognize and manage the difficulties you are likely to face once you leave the rehab facility.
Here’s what you can do to help maintain sobriety after rehab:
Modify your environment
Some of the immediate changes you’ll have to make in order to maintain a drug-free lifestyle will be obvious. While making any changes might be helpful, especially if you’re new to recovery, you’ll probably benefit the most from modifying your environment. Before leaving the supported rehab environment, have someone you trust remove any paraphernalia associated with your substance use disorder from your home. When in recovery, continuing with your previous routine and exposure to triggers can increase your chances of relapsing. You more likely to slip back into old habits if you don’t alter your circumstances. Try to avoid people, places and situations that can spark the urge to use. Create new, healthy habits instead.
Participate in sober activities
During your recovery, it’s imperative that you replace your old habits with new positive ones. Many of those in recovery will have trouble dealing with emotions like worry, anger, anxiety and stress. But in order to stay sober, it’s important that you learn how to manage such emotions. How you deal with these emotions could make a difference in your ability to stay sober. Participating in sober activities might help keep your mind occupied and cultivate a healthier mindset during recovery. Contrary to popular belief, these kinds of activities don’t have to be boring. You can still have plenty of fun without reverting to your old habits. Here are a few healthy activities to consider:
• Physical exercises
• Meditation or yoga
Build healthier relationships
Like many addicts, you probably got to the point where you had no meaningful relationship. The only people you considered friends are probably those who had a negative effect on your life. In your sobriety, you may have realized that your past relationships were toxic. Apart from dealers and drinking buddies, sometimes those closest to us can contribute to a relapse. For instance, you may have developed an overly dependent relationship with your caregiver or some of your loved ones or friends could be enabling you without knowing it. If maintained, such relationships can increase the risk of a relapse. When in recovery, making new, sober friends and developing healthier relationships might prove more helpful than maintaining old ones.
Atone for past mistakes
Most recovering addicts have caused their loved ones and friends some emotional damage. If you are in recovery, you may have caused a lot of pain and suffering while under the influence. As such, some of your past decisions and actions are likely to evoke feelings of guilt, shame, or regret. If they’re not dealt with properly, such feelings can become toxic to a sober lifestyle, causing you to relapse. To maintain sobriety, you need to take the necessary steps to atone for your past mistakes and start to live your life responsibly.
Develop a structured schedule
According to experts, chaotic or disorganized lifestyles can hinder recovery. As such, you’ll want to develop a structured schedule and stick to it. Additionally, having a structured schedule increases your chances of achieving other goals in life.
Set long-term goals
While it might not be considered as a priority, setting goals for the future is just as important as every other step listed in this article because it can help you maintain your sobriety. Developing and pursuing other goals might make it easier for you to overcome whatever challenges you’ll encounter. Staying on track will be a lot easier when you have a sense of the overall benefits and value of your sobriety. Long-term goals can, therefore, add purpose to your efforts and help you stay clean.
Keep your follow-up appointments
You may feel that you’ll do just fine without follow-up sessions and think of skipping them as a result. But the support given by treatment professionals can make it a lot easier to manage or avoid temptations. So stick to any follow-up appointments you have scheduled whether they are with your doctor or rehabilitation facility.
Find a solid support system
Finding a support group in your locality or having someone you can call on when faced with temptations could prove quite helpful when you are in recovery. So try to surround yourself with a sober and supportive community comprised of people who’d want to help you achieve long-term sobriety. Those with your best interests at heart would make the best support system.
People new to recovery are likely to substitute one addiction for another and can find themselves approaching a new activity with compulsion. Fortunately, our counselors are available 24/7 to provide professional assistance whenever necessary. If you are ready to begin your journey to recovery, call us today 866-754-9113