People who are at the start of the addiction recovery process often assume that once they detox and undergo treatment, they’ll be cured. However, they soon learn that sobriety is a life-long process and recovery can be difficult over the long-term. Sometimes, even after remaining sober for years, addicts can relapse. Triggers include major life events like losing a loved one, getting divorced, or losing a job. Fortunately, there are strategies you can use to help you stay sober in the long-term. Knowing what to do to prevent relapse can make recovery easier. Let’s look at some of the things you can do.
Keep Practicing What You Learned in Therapy
To stay sober in the long-term, you’ll need to be committed to your sobriety. This means actively taking steps every day to maintain your sobriety once you’re out of treatment. This will include relying on techniques you learned during therapy and maybe attending support group meetings.
Find Ways to Spend Your Free Time
Addicts often find that they get bored once they stop drinking. You need to find an activity to fill the void. Some people take classes while others turn to faith-based activities or sport. You need to keep finding ways to stay occupied even long after you become sober. This is especially important when you’re going through a major life change like retirement or becoming an empty nester.
Stick to a Routine
Many addicts find it helpful to come up with a daily routine and stick to it. This is often a routine that’s different from the one they followed while they were drinking. It may include exercise and making time for hobbies. If you neglect this routine, you’re more likely to head for relapse.
Don’t Become Overconfident
After you’ve been sober for a few years, you may think you have things under control. You may think you can hang out with people who drink or go to the same social events you went to before. However, you need to be careful. Cravings can happen even after a long period of sobriety. You may be able to ease yourself back into certain situations, but you shouldn’t rush.
Stay in Touch with People You Met in Rehab
People often lose touch when they’re no longer seeing each other. However, you’ll need support from someone who knows what you’re going through, especially when things get difficult. Friends and family can help but they won’t fully understand your challenges. Maintain contact with the people who you met while undergoing rehab or group therapy.
Avoid Your Triggers
This is one of the most important factors in preventing relapse. Triggers can be situations, people, places or emotions that remind you of drinking and lead to cravings. Triggers can easily lead to relapse since you may feel like you’re missing out on something. To avoid relapse, you should stay away from the places where you used to drink and the people with whom you used to drink. Instead, you should surround yourself with more positive influences.
Find Healthy Ways to Cope
Many people become alcoholics after they used alcohol to relieve distress or poor mental health. When you can no longer rely on alcohol, you need to find new coping strategies. Yoga, journaling, meditation, and regular exercise are good activities to pick up and many addicts find them useful over the long-term. When you get into the habit of doing these activities, you’ll be less tempted to turn to alcohol when things aren’t going well.
Dealing with Relapse
Relapse is a common part of recovery. If you end up drinking again, it’s not the end of the world and you can find sobriety again. Even though it will be frustrating after fighting so hard to get sober, you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself. Relapse doesn’t have to mean a return to addictive behavior. However, you need to get professional help if you want to get healthy again.
Contact Asheville Recovery Center Today to Learn More About Long-Term Sobriety
Maintaining sobriety over the long-term can be a challenge. However, you don’t have to handle your recovery alone. At Asheville Recovery Center, we have trained professionals who can provide you with the support you need. We offer a range of treatment options and we can help you to get back on your feet again with a personalized plan. Call us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about the services we offer.