July 31, 2012
If you haves undergone drug treatment and successfully completed your program, it is a huge accomplishment. During drug treatment, you uncovered the roots of your addiction and were given the tools needed in order to continue on your path to wellness and recovery. When you walk out the doors for treatment for the last time, you feel proud and marvel at how far you have come since the day you first entered treatment. While successfully completing treatment is a major milestone, it is just the beginning of your lifelong journey towards lasting sobriety.
Going back to your normal routines and daily life after treatment can be overwhelming. While you have changed, the world and people around you haven’t changed and temptation seems to lurk around every corner. The world seems new to you and your emotions can be raw when you experience everyday life. It is when your mind and body is stressed that triggers loom large, and one false move can send you down the slippery slope back into relapse. In addition to aftercare programs and continued participation in Twelve-Step programs or other sober support groups, the following are 6 basic yet essential tips that will help you avoid relapse.
1. Avoid Tempting Situations
In early recovery, you are mentally and physically fit and feel like you can take on the world. While you may feel unstoppable, you are treading into dangerous territory if you feel you can be around people who are using or in situations where drug and alcohol use is occurring. If possible, avoid those situations that may place you in harms way. These situations can be either physical or emotional in nature and can also either be obvious or subtle.
2. Have People in Your Corner
When you were in active addiction, your social circles and “support people” consisted primarily of those who used drugs and your family and friends were pushed into the background. In recovery, surround yourself with positive people who do not engage in substance use and who are supportive of your decision to live a drug-free lifestyle. It is important to have healthy people who will be able to support you in your times of need. You need to end unhealthy relationships and ties to unhealthy people. If you need to, change your number, block or delete them from social networking sites, and work on creating a new and healthier support network in sober support groups or other outlets.
3. Learn How To Create A Healthy Schedule
One important life skill that is taught in drug treatment and can help prevent relapse is learning to create a daily schedule. Creating a schedule that includes times for treatment and meetings, work or family time, exercise and hobbies, and free time leave little room of idle time and helps nurture proper self-care. If you look deeper, creating a schedule is an extension of the life you lived in treatment where you were required to follow some type of schedule as a part of learning structure. By creating a schedule for when treatment has ended, the patient is able to continue that structured living. When scheduling for free time, it is important to find constructive activities to fill that time.
4. Don’t Slack Off…Avoid Complacency
When you are in early recovery, you feel like you are in the groove. You are feeling good, looking good, and are ready to assume your new identity as a recovering person. You should feel good because you earned it, but resting on your laurels and becoming complacent is dangerous to your recovery. Don’t get stuck in idle: continue with an aftercare program, stay proactive in 12-Step meetings and continue to build your support network of those who support your sobriety. It is inevitable that after a period of time that the things that you are doing in recovery may not give you the charge they did when you started. However, it is important that you continue to stick with what is working for you in recovery as part of your relapse prevention plan. If you do feel stuck, you should seek the help of others in your support network.
5. Learn to Relax
Addiction is a cunning, baffling and powerful disease. You have heard this phrase a million times in treatment and around the tables of 12-Step meetings. It may sound cliche, but it very true. While you are in recovery, your old addictive ways of thinking will try and find any way possible to sneak into your mind and take over. When work, family or daily living, in general, causes stress, it is like the front door is busted wide open and your addiction can waltz right back in. An important part of avoiding relapse is to incorporate some form of relaxation techniques into your daily life. Whether it is yoga, mindful mediation or another form of relaxation, making 10-15 of your day every day to some form of relaxation practice will help ground you and keep your mind in the here and now.
6. If You Relapse, You Haven’t Failed
We don’t want to think about it, but relapse happens. No matter how well we work our recovery program, there are those times where you can slip up and have to start from square one. If you happen to relapse, pick yourself up. If you were able to stay clean and sober before, you will be able to do it again. Reach out to others in your support network and seek help and begin working your recovery program again. Process the events and emotions that led to relapse so that they are not repeated. By processing these situations, you can learn from your mistakes and this will only help you in your journey in recovery.
Do You Desire Lifelong Recovery? Ocean Breeze Recovery Center Can Help
Recovery is a lifelong process that can be filled with many obstacles. Ocean Breeze Recovery Center can help you make that goal a reality with high quality drug treatment that is effective and proven to work. We also offer all clients solid aftercare programs that can help you transition back into your daily live with less stress and more confidence. Make recovery a reality…call Ocean Breeze Recovery Center today.