Substance abuse disorder is incredibly common in our society. In fact, studies show that 1 in 12 American adults deal with some form of substance addiction in their lifetime.
However, just because substance abuse disorders are common, it doesn’t mean they’re easy to deal with. Getting sober is one of the most challenging feats a person can accomplish after years of addiction.
Fortunately, there are ways to get sober and prevent relapse. It won’t be easy, but we promise, it will be worth it in the end.
We want to help you on your road to recovery. Keep reading for our top seven tips on how to prevent relapse.
1. Find an Effective Treatment Program
First, understand that most people can’t remain sober on their own. It might be difficult for you to admit you need help, but an effective treatment program can significantly increase your chances of overcoming your addiction.
We recommend looking into various recovery services to see which one is right for you. There are 12-step recovery programs, addiction therapists, inpatient rehab centers, outpatient rehab centers, and more.
Do some research online to determine which treatment program will be most effective and practical for your life.
2. Join Recovery Groups
Preventing relapse can be much easier if you work with a group of people who know what you’re going through. You can find recovery groups in your area full of people who suffer from drug addiction and alcohol addiction.
When you join these types of groups, you’re granted access to countless people who can both empathize with your struggles and provide valuable insight about the road to recovery. Just as importantly, you’ll have a safe platform and environment to talk about your struggles and the emotions that come with recovering from substance abuse.
3. Be Open and Honest With Your Friends and Family Members
It’s difficult to explain substance addiction to someone who’s never experienced it. How could they possibly understand the urges and cravings? How could they know the challenges that lay before you?
Unfortunately, thoughts like these make it difficult to prevent relapse. They can make you feel alone, misunderstood, ashamed, and guilty.
However, it’s imperative to talk to your loved ones about what you’re going through. They can help you get through tough times and provide the help you need to stay sober.
Talk to your closest friends and family members. If they don’t know about your drug or alcohol addiction, now is the time to tell them about it.
These people love you as much as you love them. They will do everything they can to support your recovery.
4. Avoid Your Triggers
Avoiding things that make you want to use is one of the most important things you can do to prevent relapse. While there are certain aspects of life you can’t avoid, do your best to steer clear of your triggers.
For example, if you’re recovering from alcohol addiction, working at a bar, casino, or restaurant where they serve alcohol might not be a good idea. However, there might be other things that you automatically associated with drinking or using drugs. For example:
- Going to parties
- Going to bars and clubs
- Going to a pool hall
- Playing poker with your friends
- Going boating
- Hanging out with certain people
- And more
You’re going to get cravings while going through recovery. Your body has become chemically dependent on the substance. While you can’t eliminate cravings entirely, you can significantly mitigate the number of cravings and their intensity by avoiding your triggers.
5. Learn How to Set Boundaries
Sometimes, learning how to prevent relapse means learning how to set boundaries in your life. These boundaries could be for your friends, family members, or both.
For example, just because you want to get sober, it doesn’t mean you want to change everything about your life. You don’t need to cut other people out of your life because they drink or have their own substance addiction. However, you do need to set boundaries with those people.
They must understand and respect your choice to get clean. While spending time with you, they can’t use or drink, and they certainly shouldn’t offer anything to you.
If a friend or family member can’t respect your boundaries, you might need to step away from that relationship.
6. Invest in Your Personal Growth and Happiness
When walking the path of recovery, it helps if you have other things to focus on. While many people re-invest themselves into their careers (which can be healthy), we’re talking about taking time for self-care.
This can include things like relaxing, meditating, reading, and going to the spa. However, let’s focus on finding new hobbies and revisiting old ones. Hobbies help us find happiness, self-worth, and fulfillment.
Try to find something that allows you to be creative. The range of options varies greatly. Here are some suggestions:
There is no limit to what you are capable of. You might have a hidden passion and talent lying dormant in you. All you have to do is discover it.
7. Take Time to Improve Your Health
Finally, learning how to prevent relapse is easier when you’re taking care of your physical health. When we’re eating right and being physically active, it makes us want to maintain what we’ve worked for. Substance abuse doesn’t fit into that picture.
Just as importantly, eating healthy foods and exercising naturally makes us feel better. It increases our moods, gives us more energy, and gives us a better outlook on life.
If going to the gym is too intimidating, start by going on walks around the neighborhood and improving your diet. However, if you like the idea of getting fit, consider hiring a personal trainer and hitting the weights.
And if you don’t like traditional styles of exercise, there are other options. For example, hiking, mountain biking, and swimming are great ways to get fit and lose weight.
You Can Prevent Relapse
Are you on the road to recovery? If so, follow the advice written in this article to prevent relapse and stay sober.
Remember, addiction is a disease. It’s nothing to be ashamed of or feel guilty about. Talk to the people around you and seek the help you need to get through this.
And if you’re looking for more health tips or lifestyle advice, we have more to offer. Stick around and read through some of our other articles. Our blog was created to help people from all walks of life be happier, healthier, and more successful.