It is one matter to maintain sobriety within a guided rehab program; it is quite another to remain sober in the context of your regular life. This is why it is essential for a holistic treatment program to not only eliminate problematic behaviors but gradually replace them with long-lasting, sustainable tools to help change your life permanently. Call 833.551.2304 to learn about Gulf Breeze Recovery’s relapse prevention program and how we can equip you to navigate future challenges.
Maintaining Sobriety Upon the Conclusion of Rehab
The first month on your own is generally the most difficult, and you will likely encounter some unanticipated hurdles. Here are some relapse prevention techniques you can fall back upon when you feel your willpower being taxed.
Mind Your Physical Health
Although you might have gotten by with insufficient sleep or a questionable diet before rehab, you cannot afford to add any unnecessary physical stressors when living in recovery; the risk of re-igniting cravings is too great. Fortunately, many rehab programs now include education in self-care, so you won’t need to learn new behaviors as much as maintain them.
- Taking all prescribed medications exactly as directed by your doctor
- Practicing active stress management, such as through guided meditation, yoga, or deep breathing
- Sleeping on a regular schedule
- Avoiding excessive amounts of caffeine or nicotine
- Getting regular exercise
- Eating a balanced diet, with only a moderate amount of sugar
Avoid Triggering Situations
After leaving rehab, you will undoubtedly encounter some of the same triggers that initially contributed to your substance abuse problem. This may include certain friends or family members with whom you have habitually drunk alcohol or taken drugs, social settings where sanctioned activities or even calendar events where insobriety is tolerated, even expected.
In the beginning, it may be necessary to avoid all people and places that carry such associations. However, rather than live in deprivation, try to substitute one activity for another, especially where imbibing is impossible. For example, you may choose to spend New Year’s Eve camping under the stars with friends rather than attending a party where drugs and alcohol will be widely available.
Maintaining Sobriety For Life
Although you will always need to take recovery one day at a time, certain relapse prevention techniques will get easier with practice. Here are three areas that you might want to revisit to measure your overall progress periodically:
Address Underlying Causes
Substance abuse problems are nearly always indicative of a greater emotional or psychological need. For most individuals, it won’t be enough to avoid the problematic behaviors themselves. To remain on the path to recovery, you must continue to make proactive decisions supporting a happier, more fulfilling life.
Some of these real-world decisions include:
- Continuing your Individual or group counseling
- Electing recreational pursuits that allow the development of close and supportive personal relationships
- Volunteering for organizations that work towards a cause you feel passionately about (for example, if you love animals, consider offering to walk dogs at a local shelter)
- Pursuing activities that keep your hands busy and mind focused, such as playing a musical instrument, cooking, or visual arts and crafts
One of the lessons you might have learned within your substance treatment program was the role of rest and general mindfulness in a successful recovery. If you have a demanding, stressful job, particularly one that brings you little joy or satisfaction, this may indicate a necessary change. Speak with your employer about possible modifications to your current job description. If this is not possible, talking to your therapist or counselor about a possible career pivot may be a productive next step.
Learn Relapse Prevention Techniques at Gulf Breeze Recovery
Successful recovery programs include comprehensive, ongoing support, including practicing maintaining sobriety and information on how to access help when and where you need it. Call 833.551.2304 to learn about Gulf Breeze Recovery’s relapse prevention program and how we can help you remain on the road to recovery.