According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately 40 to 60 percent of people relapse after getting treatment. This is a daunting statistic, but, really, should come as no surprise. After all, there are many reasons for why people revert back to their addiction after seeking help. For some, it may be due to their ambivalence to get sober – as in, they were never truly committed to put down the drug or drink in the first place. But for others, it may be because they didn’t adequately prepare for the difficult transition from rehab to home life. Moving from a protected, structured environment to one where all temptations are suddenly within reach can be a huge challenge for anybody. Hence, having appropriate aftercare lined up after completing a treatment program is essential.
Aftercare is a necessary part of treatment that helps bridge the gap between rehab and real life. It guides and supports a recovering addict as much as needed to help prevent relapse and can include teaching him or her new life skills, how to make positive lifestyle changes and encouraging him or her to strive for goals not related to addiction, like relationships, work or education. Aftercare programs can also encourage those in recovery to adopt a new vision and outlook on life – a crucial step so that they can enjoy sober living.
But, besides aftercare planning, there are other ways to make the journey into sobriety an easier one, too, such as:
Knowing Your Triggers. A trigger is any form of stimuli that can prompt cravings to use drugs or alcohol, and it is typically associated with a memory or situation that relates in some way to past use. Thus, getting – and staying – sober often requires cutting off contact with all people, places and things related to your past drinking or drugging. Knowing your triggers ahead of time can prevent you from becoming trapped in negative thought patterns and keep you focused on being successful in your recovery.
Surrounding Yourself with Like-Minded People. Who you hang around with can determine whether your sobriety will be successful or not. Hence, spending time with those who don’t use is essential. Twelve-step meetings and group therapy are some of the best places to forge these positive relationships and connections. Being around those who have been in your shoes also brings about great compassion, understanding and healing, too.
Keeping Busy. Too much idle time can cause a person to get stuck in their own head, leading to feelings of self-doubt, self-pity and even glorification of his or her drug-using past. To combat this, keep your calendar booked with new activities and friends. This way, there will be less temptation to fall back into negative situations and thinking patterns.
Implementing Self-Care. When in recovery, it’s important to eat a balanced diet and get enough sleep. Being well-rested and providing enough nourishment to the body can go a long way in battling relapse and staying physically and mentally strong.
Taking it One Day at a Time. There is no cure for addiction – just a responsibility to yourself to remain sober with each new day. This mindset lessens the pressure associated with the commitment to stay sober forever and allows the person to focus on the present day. Thus, a “taking it one day at a time” approach makes sobriety an easier pill to swallow and allows recovering addicts to feel comfortable with their recovery goals.
Are you looking to make your sobriety easier? If so, seeking outside support can help. Arise Recovery Center provides aftercare planning for those seeking to maintain and build upon the progress already made in the first phases of treatment. For more information on our individualized aftercare programs, please visit our Aftercare Planning page on our website, call us at 1-888-DFW-ARISE (1-888-339-2747) or contact us by email at info@AriseRecoveryCenters.com.