Looking for strategies to keep from relapsing?

Once you get through rehab treatment and are back dealing with all the daily hassle of family, bills, and work , staying sober becomes more challenging. As a recovering addict, you may sometimes feel isolated and alone in your struggles, as if everyone else simply sails through life. You are not alone! According to SAMHSA National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 4.2 million people receive treatment for substance abuse every year. There are millions of men and women dealing with the same fight to remain sober that you are. To help you stay strong through recovery, here are seven tips on how to stay sober after rehab.

1. Rely on your support network

The relationships you developed in rehab and your aftercare program can be your strongest support if you let them. When you are accountable to someone other than yourself and have people committed to your sobriety who expect you to remain clean, it is easier to reach within and find the determination to maintain sobriety in the face of life’s hassles. One of the difficulties of getting clean without rehab is that you may not have a support group already in place.  Reach out to your family and friends when you need a reminder on how to stay sober, local twelve-step groups, and your place of worship to form a support network that will assist you and hold you accountable for your sobriety.

2. Appreciate the positive things in your life

When life starts to seem overwhelming, take a minute to appreciate the positive things in your life. Focus on something in your life that you can be grateful for and find pleasure in the small, everyday things. Some days, it may be simply be the fact that you are alive and out in the world.

3. Stay away from your triggers

Old habits can be hard to break, particularly when you put yourself in circumstances where using drugs or alcohol is a familiar and accepted behavior. Avoid the places and situations where you habitually used drugs in the past, and keep away from the people with whom you used to abuse drugs or alcohol. Develop new relationships with sober friends who share the same lifestyle and goals that form the basis of your life now.

4. Take care of yourself

Tiredness and hunger are two prime triggers that can make you vulnerable to relapse. Make sure you get enough rest and eat a healthy, nutritious diet. Be realistic in your demands on yourself, and don’t try to get too much done at once or expect yourself to manage everything perfectly from the start of your sobriety.

5. Go to twelve-step meetings

No matter where you live or travel, there are probably several twelve-step support groups meeting every day. Whether you are having a hard time staying sober or not, twelve-step meetings can provide valuable support that will make maintaining your sobriety easier.  You can share insights with others who are going through the same struggle that you are, work with a sponsor committed to helping you remain sober, and receive positive reinforcement that will give you strength when you need it.

6. Embrace a new healthy lifestyle

Once you are out of rehab and back in your home, the temptation to resume old habits can be strong, especially if you have a lot of free time on your hands. Embracing a new, healthy lifestyle that includes nutritious meals and regular exercise can help you stay clean after detoxing from drugs.   Take a yoga class, go dancing, or simply commit to walking 30 minutes a day. Exercising produces a natural endorphin boost that lifts depression, enhances your stamina, and combats cravings.

7. Volunteer to help others

Helping others is one of the key strategies for staying clean and sober . Volunteering to work in a homeless shelter, soup kitchen, or after school program will keep you from dwelling on your own problems and keep you focused on something other than yourself. The awareness that you can help others and make a positive change in someone else’s life is a powerful incentive to stay clean and sober.

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.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.