If you have been to rehab and discharged to start a normal sober life, congratulations, you’re already past the hard part. Your next step is to maintain sobriety and avoid having a relapse. Unfortunately, relapse is quite common among many addiction recovery patients. The chances of relapsing in patients who have been to rehab are between 20 to 50 percent and 50 to 80 percent for those who quit independently. If you have been having difficulty staying sober, this article will help you find out more about relapse prevention and provide simple everyday tips that can help you maintain sobriety after rehab.
Identify Your Personal Triggers
Your first responsibility after rehab is knowing what a relapse is, when and how it happens and how you can deal with cravings. Everyone has their own personal trigger. They could be external and range from people, things, places, and situations that elicit thoughts or cravings associated with substance abuse. Internal triggers like emotions, feelings, and thoughts of substance abuse also pose a threat, especially if you are lonely, sad, angry, or stressed. Once you identify your biggest triggers, you can create a plan to prepare or avoid them.
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Establish a Routine
One of the best ways to overcome addiction is establishing a routine that keeps you busy throughout the day. If you have a new job, you could hang out with colleagues after work, exercise, or spend time with your family. Another great way to keep your routine going smoothly is focusing on the positives. With time, you’ll realize that you no longer think about substances or your life before sobriety.
Change Your Hobbies, Friends, and the Environment
Life in sobriety means changing many aspects of your social life, but that doesn’t mean it should be boring. Research which areas to change in your life, and find out more about coping mechanisms. You might need to move out of your old home, throw or give away some of the things that remind you of your past life, and change your environment completely to fit your sober life. Spend every minute having fun by engaging in new hobbies, making new friends, and meeting with people who have been in your situation. With a new environment, routine, friends, and hobbies, you can slowly begin adjusting to the new life and eventually completely forget your old life.
Celebrate Every Milestone
Many addiction recovery patients are often consumed in guilt, shame, and sadness and may punish themselves for what happened. Instead of being too hard on yourself, it’s pretty crucial that you celebrate your achievement so far and build motivation. Every day that you go without using substances calls for a celebration. Acknowledging and celebrating every milestone in your recovery journey helps motivate and remind you of the brave step you took towards sobriety. Choose rewards that help you stay healthy and happy, such as activities and things that support your new lifestyle.
Learn and Help Others
You don’t have to be a healthcare professional to help other people like you overcome addiction. Go out and find people who are abusing substances and let them know that they can be treated. Share your experience and your recovery steps while also listening to others without judgment. This will help build your self-confidence, add a sense of self-worth and motivate you to work on your recovery process.
Rely on Your Support System
Sobriety is a long-term process. You’ll have challenges on your sobriety journey that require a strong support system to get through. If you’re out of rehab, maintain constant communication with your therapist or psychologist, who can help manage some of your challenges. Your family and friends are the most important people in your recovery process. They can help you financially, emotionally, psychologically, and socially. They will celebrate your accomplishments and help you stay away from your triggers.