Completing a drug or alcohol addiction treatment program is a great success. But we must remember that it’s only a first step towards living a cleaner, healthier life. Once you leave a drug treatment center, the real challenge of continuing a sober lifestyle begins.
There will be plenty of temptations and opportunities for you to fall back into your old lifestyle. This is only natural. But that doesn’t mean you should succumb to the pressures. So if you’re a recovering drug addict or know someone who is, here are seven tips to help make a drug relapse prevention plan, and continuing to live a sober, post-rehab life.
Find a Hobby to Occupy Your Time
Occupy your time. Find something you love to do. Too much down time can cause trouble for many recovering addicts. They don’t know what to do with themselves and revert to old tricks to pass the time—old tricks such as drugs. Avoid this pitfall by adding activities to your schedule. Take classes, join a recreational sports league, pursue whatever it is that interests you. But don’t regress back to your addiction because you are bored.
Cut Out Friends and Family Who Are Not Supportive
Your support group is extremely vital, especially after you’ve left a drug treatment center. Eliminating drugs and alcohol is a long-term process that you shouldn’t do alone. You can’t afford to continue hanging out with individuals who still use drugs and alcohol on a daily basis. The regular temptation can be too strong over the long-term to avoid. Therefore, make sure you remove yourself from friends and family members who might not be supportive of your new lifestyle.
Avoid Tempting Situations
Don’t put yourself in a situation that will be difficult to resist addictive substances. It’s too easy to cave and start using again. This is why it’s so important to find new hobbies and supportive friends and family. This will decrease, if not eliminate, the opportunities for you to fall back into old, destructive habits.
Don’t Allow a Slipup to Turn Into a Relapse
Sometimes recovering addicts have setbacks. No matter their intentions, sometimes the temptations are too great. While it’s not ideal, it’s not the end of the world. Don’t let this slipup be the beginning of a relapse.
Acknowledge that you slipped and move on. Don’t dwell on it or let it be an excuse to continue down a destructive path. Everyone makes mistakes; don’t let yours undo weeks of hard work.
Don’t Forget the Past; Use it to Remember Why You Wanted to Get Sober
If you were to have a minor setback, a helpful tip to prevent drug relapse is to remember the bad times. Remind yourself how you felt when you were out of control and addicted to drugs. Let your mind relive that awful feeling and remember the hard work you put into recovering. You went through treatment for a reason. Remember this and a relapse will be less likely to occur.
Be Mindful of Your Triggers
When you complete a drug rehab program, like Prominence Treatment Center’s, you will be much more aware of the underlying reasons why you abused drugs. With this knowledge, you’ll have a better understanding of what your triggers are.
Being mindful of your triggers will help you stay out of those situations. If you know that arguments with your significant other are a trigger, find a more peaceful resolution. Do what you need to do to avoid emotional states that would trigger a relapse.
Don’t Keep Emotions Bottled Up
Much of drug rehabilitation is about communication. It’s about discussing what you’re feeling and why, and how that relates to your addiction. This mentality must extend beyond patient rehab. By maintaining an inner circle of supportive family and friends, you will have individuals within reach who can act as a sounding board. Simply saying things out loud helps. It’s okay if you feel like it’s a struggle. When you leave drug rehab, you’re not going to be perfect or never have another temptation. But be open about it, and don’t be afraid to express what you’re feeling.
Upon leaving a drug treatment center, you will be much more conscious of your addiction and its causes. You will be cognizant of your emotional state, and will be successful in drug relapse prevention.