Completing an addiction treatment program is undoubtedly an accomplishment and an indication of personal growth. Still, it is not everything. You likely learned during your time in treatment that addiction doesn’t ever really go away. It is in your lifestyle and management practices that keep a dormant addiction from turning into relapse.
Humbling yourself to the reality that you are not omnipotent and cannot manage “one drink” or even an evening at a bar without drinking is integral to avoiding relapse after you leave treatment. If you’ve struggled with addiction before, you are at significant risk of struggling with it again if you test fate. Even when you go through periods of low urges, this is not an excuse to test the waters again.
Creating healthy boundaries around where you will and will not go, who you will and will not hang out with, and what it takes to continue living a sober life are the focal points of avoiding relapse following drug recovery treatment. The key is to understand that you’ve come so far and that to continue, you need to get honest about your limitations. For more information on preventing relapse after treatment, read the guide below.
Create Healthy Distractions For Drug Recovery
Two points place you closer to relapsing: the first is when you choose to engage with triggers, and the second is when you decide to use again. The latter is avoidable if you know how to handle the first. If you find yourself triggered by happenstance (say you saw an ad for alcohol), you can decide to distract yourself from any urges.
Maybe you start by changing the channel. Then, maybe you decide to pick up that interesting book you were immersed in earlier. As long as you are choosing healthy resources for distractions, you can avoid getting to the point of breaking down and interrupting your drug recovery.
Talk To An Accountability Buddy
If you are struggling with urges or feel that you are heading in that direction, reach out to an accountability buddy or friend who can support you and, perhaps, offer words of encouragement. It is essential to recognize that we, and we alone, are responsible for our actions, but leaning on a friend who supports your sobriety can help you feel more motivated to not break your streak of drug recovery. Close friends, 12-step sponsors, and other trusted individuals are resources to consider.
Create Substitutes For Celebrations
If your old way of celebrating anything was to go out drinking or use, determine adequate substitutes that you can rely on instead. Perhaps you celebrate with a nice meal or treat yourself to a dessert when you’ve accomplished something. Start cultivating normalcy from healthier outlets as part of your drug recovery.
Work Your Aftercare Plan
There are many ways you can create stability following your time in a drug recovery center. Utilize the above suggestions as you work on your aftercare plan and continue on a path of sobriety. You can do it.
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