Living in addiction recovery is never easy. However, there are ways to avoid a relapse and remain sober for the rest of your life. Yes, it’s hard, but it is worth all of the hard work. Think about all the hard work you put into getting sober and overcoming addiction. The first (and maybe the hardest) thing you will have to do is get rid of your substance-abusing friends.
Avoid a Relapse by Doing These Things
As mentioned above, you have to find friends who do not abuse drugs or alcohol. Thinking you can avoid a relapse while hanging around with the same old crowd is only setting yourself up for failure. You may be able to not participate in drinking or using drugs at first but chances are that you will eventually break down and use again.
You have to avoid places where alcohol is being served or drug use is prevalent, especially when you first get sober. In recovery, you will still have cravings and temptations. There is no need to put yourself through this at the beginning of your recovery. Even if it means missing a special celebratory event, don’t take a chance. You can extend your congratulations in other ways.
Continue Counseling and Support Groups
The one mistake many people make when completing their treatment programs for addiction is thinking that they don’t need any further counseling or treatment. This is far from true! You need the continuing support of others. What better way to get this is there than attending support groups with others who are walking the same path as you.
Attending meetings with other recovering addicts is the best way to remain sober. You all can offer encouragement and compassion to one another. You all will be stepping into a new phase of your lives and can help each other along the way. Family and friends are needed for support, but only others who have been in your situation really know what you are going through. Take advantage of their support in helping you to avoid a relapse.
Take Care of Yourself to Avoid a Relapse
You must take care of yourself when living in recovery. Eat a proper diet and get plenty of exercise. As you see how much better you feel, it will get easier to remain sober. By doing these two things, you will reduce cravings. Exercising will also keep you from becoming bored and tempted to use just because of that. In addition, exercise helps to clear your head as it increases dopamine which puts you in a good mood. You will feel better mentally as well as physically.
Get the proper amount of rest and sleep. Don’t let yourself get worn down by not sleeping as you should. Try to set a regular bedtime and wind down before that time to ensure a good night’s sleep. Fatigue can also cause cravings and temptations to pop up in your daily life.
Relapse Does Not Equal Failure
By no means does relapse mean that you have failed in your recovery effort. It simply means that you start again in the process. Recovery is a process and for some individuals, relapse is part of that process.
Today, there is much more information available about ways to avoid a relapse. Hopefully, these tips can help you. If, however, you do relapse, maybe you need a little more treatment or counseling. There is no reason to be embarrassed or ashamed of the fact. Be the strong person that you are, and seek more treatment to help you back onto your path of sobriety and recovery. You too can have a healthy and happy life after addiction.
drugabuse.gov/publications – Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction/Treatment and Recovery