Life After Rehab – 10 Steps to Staying Sober
Once the great achievement of sobriety is accomplished through Addiction treatment, it is now time for you to take on the world in this new life journey. Things will need to change in your life, so you can be able to maintain sobriety after rehab. Explore these 10 Steps to Staying Sober to learn how you can increase your chances for long-term success in recovery.
1. Avoid People Who Pressure You
It is difficult for those who are currently abusing substances to understand how important newfound sobriety is to you. They tend to pressure others into substance abuse because they do not want to do it alone, or simply do not care about being sober. This is extreme negativity that needs to be removed from your life after rehab. It is challenging to break ties with friends or even family that you have been close to for a long time, but if they do not support addiction recovery, then they should not be a part of your life.
If you do not want to avoid these people moving forward, but want to be successful with sobriety, you can sit down and explain to them how significant sobriety is in your life and that being around certain substances may cause a relapse. This should help them understand where you are coming from, and hopefully, get them to support you as well.
2. Create a Substance-Free Environment
Before returning home from REHAB, there needs to be a plan in place where someone removes anything related to your addiction from the home. If you live alone and do not have someone available to help with this, then you should remove substances and substance-related things when you make the decision to become sober. This will help you forget about your addiction, because when the substance is out of sight, then there will be less of a temptation to abuse it.
3. Learn What Your Triggers Are and Avoid Them
Triggers consist of specific aspects of your daily routine or past life events that cause you to abuse substances. When substance abuse occurs, it is likely that a certain trigger is present and causing that negative association. These can stem from past life events that had a destructive impact or extra free time throughout the day that associates substance abuse with normal daily activities.
To help learn what your triggers are, take time to write down what happens in a normal day for you. Then include the times where you found yourself using drugs or alcohol in an abusive manner. Sometimes these can include being around certain people or can be something as simple as every morning after breakfast. Once the triggers are identified, think about ways to avoid them. This may mean changing your daily routine or being away from those that cause substance abuse. If you find that a trigger is having too much free time, try to keep your day busy to avoid any downtime that will promote drug or alcohol abuse.
4. Join Support Groups
For anyone going through recovery for drug addiction, there are different groups you can join. Some of these include Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, and other church-related support groups. The purpose of these groups is to provide the recovering addict with a place to share their struggles and triumphs. This is a necessary outlet to include in the plans for life after rehab because you can talk with people that understand the journey to recovery and receive advice about moving forward from addiction.
5. Help Others with Drug and Alcohol Addiction
A major component to addiction treatment is being able to identify the negative aspects of your life, work to change them as much as possible, and help others do the same. This is beneficial for you in recovery because sharing a personal experience with someone suffering from addiction can lead them on a path to recovery as well. Helping others can also assist in reducing the amount of free time you have that could cause thoughts of substance abuse. You will find it very fulfilling to know that your journey can help someone in need to find their purpose in life.
6. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
During treatment, the body essentially goes through a cleanse that eliminates the substance from the body. This process, called detoxification, further continues after rehab because the negative effects from substances can still be hindering the brain and other vital organs. That is why you need to provide your body with the proper nutrition to repair the damage caused by substance abuse. Exercise is also recommended because it rewards your body with natural energy that will result in a positive attitude.
Another aspect of a healthy lifestyle that sometimes gets overshadowed is mental health. This is just as important as diet and exercise because it keeps the mind strong and free from negativity. Therapists and psychologists are always available to talk to for professional advice and guidance. In the long term, this will help with staying sober and reduce the chances of relapse by keeping the mind healthy.
7. Create a Strong Support System
Having people that support you in your recovery process assists with living a substance-free life. These can include family members, close friends, and others in the recovery community, but be sure to carefully choose who is in your support system. This should not include those that will pressure you into abusing substances or cause various triggers for you. A strong support system will ensure that you stay on the right track and help you if things ever become challenging; they will always be there for you, supporting you every step of the way.
8. Make Long-Term Goals
Once you have successfully defeated addiction, one of the most challenging things in life, it is now time to give yourself other goals to accomplish. Setting goals for yourself gives you something to strive for, and achieving these goals can give you a feeling of satisfaction. These goals, of course, can be milestones of a number of days sober, but they can also include other aspects of your life. Long-term goals can involve a healthy lifestyle, helping others, rekindling broken friendships, and other things that can improve your life.
To visualize your goals and be able to check them off, it is a good idea to write them down somewhere that you can see every day. It acts as a constant reminder of what you are striving for every day and allows you to see your accomplishments. When sobriety is achieved, anything is possible, and setting goals for yourself will only continue to provide positivity in your life.
9. Keep a Journal
Journals are an excellent place to write down your thoughts and be able to freely express yourself. This is something that can be completed as much as you want, and there are no limits to what you write. Try making a list every day of things you are grateful for because it shows all the wonderful things in your life and the reasons why staying sober is so important. Along with the list of things you are grateful for, you can also express your thoughts on how being sober for that day made it better. Writing in your journal allows you to look back at how you were feeling in the past and see the improvements over time.
10. Find New Hobbies
When the burden of drugs and alcohol are eliminated from your life, you can spend your time on new hobbies. This helps with decreasing the amount of free time you have, which will block the thoughts of substance abuse. Some good hobbies to take part in can include crafting, reading, different clubs in the community, and volunteer work. Different hobbies will give you something to do every day and give you the chance to find new things that you are skilled at and enjoy.
Staying sober after rehab is possible, and we are here to support you.