The choice to confront your addiction is a big one, however, the recovery journey consists of tons of little decisions every day. It’s important to remember that addiction is a disease and, as with other diseases like hypertension or multiple sclerosis, the possibility of relapse is very real. Although recovery sometimes feels like a never-ending cycle of peaks and valleys, the ability to avoid relapse and ultimately reach sobriety is within you.
Recovery is not a linear journey, but these tips for avoiding drug relapse can help break that cycle and lead you towards sobriety and freedom from your addiction.
Choose your friends wisely
Prior to your recovery you likely had a few friends or acquaintances with who you drank or used drugs with. If these friends have continued to use, they won’t be as committed to your recovery as you are. You should never feel pressured to use any substances – certainly not by your friends and especially when they know you are actively in recovery – so it may be best for your long-term sobriety to end friendships with those who are not invested in your recovery.
Care for your mental and physical well being
Practice mindfulness every day to reflect upon where you are at with your recovery. Check-in with how your mind and body are feeling now that you have detoxed from drugs; notice the subtle changes like having a little more energy or feeling less brain fog.
Continue to seek treatment
There is no shame in admitting you need help on the path to sobriety. Consistent therapy can be a fantastic addition to your recovery plan. Talking through your recovery journey may also help illuminate all of the progress you have made thus far.
Stay away from triggers
Similar to avoiding people who may pressure you into using drugs, you may have other situations or environments that can trigger the urge to use again. It may take some reflection to fully identify what your triggers are, and you will need to be conscious of situations you enter into that have the potential to either expose you to those triggers or to substance use itself.
Firmly commit to your recovery
We won’t lie to you, recovery is difficult. Some days might not be so bad, but others; whether because of physical withdrawal symptoms or a lapse in self-confidence, will feel like the most trying experience you have ever been through. Do not let this be a deterrent towards achieving sobriety. Your initial decision to seek recovery is evidenced enough that you are ever capable of achieving your goals. Voice your commitment to your recovery to your friends and family; making a verbal promise to yourself and others may help you hold yourself accountable.
Lean into your support network
If you’ve chosen to share with them, your friends and family already know that you are in the process of recovery. They also probably know how taxing that process can be on the mind and body and will want to help you get through it. Accept their help, so long as they are respecting your boundaries, allow your loved ones to encourage and assist you in your recovery. You may also begin to repair any relationships that may have been damaged while you were struggling with drug addiction. This is especially helpful when avoiding relapse during the holidays when casual and recreational substance use is commonplace at gatherings among friends and family.
Identify a plan of action for when you do feel the urge to use
Especially in the early days of your recovery you will, more likely than not, feel the urge to use drugs again. Before this happens, discuss a strategy with your friends, family, neighbor, coworker, therapist, primary care doctor – anyone who is willing to be by your side throughout your recovery and keep you accountable. Make a call, send a text, drive over or otherwise notify your chosen confidant when you feel a craving and ask that they be with you through it. Your plan of action could entail an impromptu therapy session, a quick run around the block with a friend or doing some other form of activity.
Rehab After Work offers individualized outpatient treatment programs for substance use disorder. Whether you are interested in medication-assisted treatment, group therapy sessions or weekly one-on-one counseling, reach out today at 610-644-6464 to find out how to establish a sustainable plan for your recovery.