Completing rehab is such an achievement. Knowing you have come so far already will mean that you’ll want to do everything you can stay sober.
Relapsing is very common, but there are ways that you can avoid returning to where you were at the beginning of your journey.
Staying sober is not a straightforward process, and can be very difficult.
The more you use the support networks around you, and strategies to help curb cravings, it is easier to avoid relapsing.
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1. Know your triggers
Knowing how to identify and avoid your personal triggers is a good tactic to avoid relapse.
External triggers may include people, places, objects and situations that may provoke cravings.
Internal triggers such as feelings, thoughts or emotions associated with substance abuse, are a big risk to your recovery.
Common triggers may include:
- Emotional distress
- Relationship problems
- Financial problems
2. Relapse warning signs
Relapse begins long before you have a drink or use drugs again.
There are 3 phases to relapse that are important to identify: emotional relapse, mental relapse, and physical relapse.
Here are the key signs of relapse to look out for:
- Addictive thinking patterns
- Compulsive, self-defeating behaviour
- Actively seeking out situations and people using drugs and alcohol
- Irrational thinking
- Irresponsible behaviour
- When drugs or alcohol seems like a logical solution to emotional or physical pain
3. Build Healthy Habits
Rebuilding trust and openness with loved ones and friends is important to developing healthy relationships.
Balance is key – a healthy diet, early nights and enough exercise will encourage positive mindsets and distractions. A sense of routine will be a key strategy to remaining sober as well as happy.
Read more here.
4. Prioritise your finances
Following rehab, you might have trouble with meeting work-related expectations and responsibilities, seeking and maintaining employment and managing your finances.
Consider using the employment and career support available to you, such as vocational rehabilitation counsellors to help you revise your CV, develop interview techniques and locate jobs to match your skillset and experience.
Here are some easy ways to manage your money:
- Turn your money over to someone you trust
- Avoid having a credit card
- Placing your money in an account so that you have to physically visit the bank to make a withdrawal
5. Try to stay calm and relaxed
It is natural to have trouble dealing with anger, stress or anxiety when recovering from addiction.
It is important to seek regular support from a therapist about the best ways to control your anger so that you can keep both yourself and others safe.
6. Celebrate the milestones
The popular 12-step program centralises the celebration of milestones. It is important not to lose sight of how far you have come, even though it is sometimes hard.
Celebrating your hard work is really helpful to keep you motivated and on the right track.
In order to celebrate, focus on things, people and experiences that will support your new, healthy lifestyle.
7. Find sober activities
Sober activities are not boring, and there is a wide variety of fun and entertaining options out there which will help instil a positive mindset and aid your recovery:
- Read or write
Learn more about the benefits of recreational activities here.
Going to parties or bars and avoiding drugs or alcohol – is it possible?
It is more effective for some people to avoid tempting situations completely.
People who are in their early stages of recovery are more vulnerable than those who have been abstinent for several years.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you will inevitably encounter drinking, then there are a few steps that can help ease the situation:
- Surround yourself with people you trust
- Go to the event with a sober friend
- Keep a non-alcoholic beverage in hand
- Arrive late or leave early
- If you feel uncomfortable or tempted, leave immediately
If you need support, or if you have any questions about what to expect during or after treatment, we are always here to help.
Contact our support team.
We are always here to help.
Last Updated on April 29, 2021 by Alison