Anyone who has struggled with addiction, whether its addiction to drugs, alcohol or both knows that getting sober can be very difficult, especially if you’re doing it on your own. Even more challenging is the ongoing fight to stay sober. It’s important for addiction professionals to prepare a person with an addiction to deal with many recovery obstacles in order to create a better life after rehab and prevent a return to drug or alcohol abuse. Here are a few tips on how to stay clean and sober.
Create and maintain a safe environment for sobriety
When people with an addiction are in rehab, they are in a very controlled and supportive environment, which is conducive to staying sober. Once inpatient treatment is completed, a person with an addiction needs to know how to adapt back in their own environment or if that environment is part of the cause of their addiction in the first place, seek instead to create a new environment, including home, work and other social places. Those suffering from addiction need to understand that if their environment tempts them to relapse, they may need to change the situation to avoid a relapse. This also applies to relationships that may be toxic or encourage the addict to use or drink again.
Learning how to cope while clean and sober
It’s not uncommon for someone to become addicted to drugs or alcohol as a way to cope with life’s challenges or even a devastating event they were never able to fully recover from. Drugs and alcohol can numb the pain and make it easier to face life’s struggles. Once sober, those struggling with addiction need new life skills to replace old habits. A reputable addiction recovery center will provide those skills while in rehab. It’s critical to adhere and practice these new life skills once rehab is complete to stay on the path to sobriety. Coping skills may include meditation, yoga, other forms of exercise or other skills.
Create a support network
Many of the relationships a person who has an addiction may have had before going into rehab were either based on a shared addiction, or relationships with family, friends and coworkers have been greatly damaged by the person’s behavior. Going through recovery and maintaining sobriety after rehab alone is difficult. Having a support network of friends, family, co-workers and others that support your recovery efforts is crucial. A person recovering from addiction may also find support through individual, group or family counseling where all individuals involved learn how to deal with the ongoing challenges of sobriety.
Get physically active
If you drank excessively or were addicted to drugs for any length of time, there is a good chance your health was impacted, and you are not in the best physical shape. Exercise can reduce stress and boredom, triggers for relapse. It can also restore a sense of balance in your life and therefore benefit you emotionally.
Be prepared for the questions
At some point, you’ll be put in a situation where someone asks you about your sobriety. Decide what you’ll say if someone asks why you’re clean and sober or other questions related to addiction struggles. It’s good to have a response ready just so you’re not caught off-guard. Keep in mind, the person who is asking may be struggling themselves! Be prepared to avoid a situation that may cause stress, which can lead to relapse.
Understanding that getting and staying sober is a whole new way of life, embracing change and surrounding yourself with a supportive environment will help you stay sober. Use these tips on how to stay clean and sober to live a better life without addiction.