Drug addiction can steal your freedom, your confidence and your focus. Trapped in the perpetual cycle of getting and using drugs, its natural to relinquish your autonomy to choose how you live your life. There is usually plenty of help available for the journey from addiction to sobriety. However, recovery is a life-time process that often requires adept navigation through a minefield of relapse triggers. To minimize the innumerable pitfalls that threaten every recovering addict’s sobriety, it is important to put an after-treatment plan in place.
Seven things to help you navigate through recovery:
1. Participate in relapse prevention education and training offered at drug rehab facilities or outpatient drug treatment programs. Relapse prevention plans are designed to educate people in recovery about…
- the various stages and dangers of a relapse,
- the universal and personal triggers that can cause a relapse,
- how to prevent a relapse by stopping it at the onset
- how to rebound from a relapse if it does occur.
2. Stay connected to a strong support system. After being abstinent for a period of time, many people in recovery stop going to meetings or abandon their connection to people who initially supported them in recovery. Since it is natural for people and things to evolve and change, it is also important to ensure that support systems continue to provide the necessary reinforcement to maintain long term sobriety.
#3. Make a post-addiction list of goals that you want to achieve. People in addiction are mostly preoccupied with their next fix. Replace that preoccupation with new dreams and get busy pursuing those goals. Keep the list current and in line with your relapse prevention objectives.
#4. Put routines and practices in place that help to maintain optimum health such as:
- regular exercise
- good nutrition
- sufficient sleep
- participation in sober recreational activities and hobbies with friends and family
- pursue ongoing mental and spiritual growth
#5. Create a safe drug free living space and stay clear of social environments that favor drug use to protect your sobriety and stay in recovery. According to addiction experts, environmental risk factors can increase a person’s likelihood of becoming addicted to drugs. Home, work and socializing domains that favor drug use can influence substance abuse behavior.
#6. Never take your sobriety for granted. Getting complacent about drugs is a prescription for taking chances that can lead to a relapse. Make a plan to periodically participate in programs that educate and reiterate your sobriety maintenance skills.
#7. Give back. Overcoming addiction and staying sober is an accomplishment that should be applauded and shared. Helping others still trapped in the horrible cycles of addiction is not only rewarding but, according to many people in recovery, help to provide a healthy reminder of why they got clean in the first place.
Leaving a drug rehab treatment program can be daunting if you are not sufficiently prepared to reengage with the issues that you faced prior to treatment. Making a plan to stay sober and implementing some or all of the preceding navigational tools can help you to stay in recovery for good.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.