If you have completed a programme of rehabilitation, then you should be immensely proud of yourself. It can be difficult to break the cycle of addiction but once you have made it through this first stage of recovery, you can begin to enjoy your new life of sobriety and can start to appreciate everything around you.
However, staying sober will require motivation and commitment. It is important to realise that relapse is quite common after rehab and most addicts will suffer at least one relapse in their lifetime. Nevertheless, you can avoid relapse by following a number of steps. If you want to make sure that you stay on the straight and narrow, there are some things that you can do.
Develop a Support Network
One of the main reasons individuals relapse after rehabilitation is because they become complacent. They feel as though they no longer need any help or support but, when this is removed from the equation, it can be hard to stay committed. Developing a good support network is the best way to stay focused while ensuring you always have people to talk to when you need them. Many former addicts attend meetings for years, and it is these individuals who have the best success rates in terms of recovery.
Boredom is a key factor when it comes to relapse. Many addicts believe that once getting through a programme of rehabilitation, he or she will be living the perfect life; but it does not always work this way. For some, leaving rehab can be daunting and unless they have plenty to occupy their time, they can quickly become bored. Some will begin to glamorise their drinking or drug-taking days and will falsely believe they had a better life when they were using. Many former addicts simply do not know what to do each day now that they are not using, so it is important that they find things to do such as hobbies or a job. Developing new hobbies will broaden the mind and will open up new networks of friends as well as giving a sense of purpose in life.
It is important to look after yourself after rehab. Ensuring you get enough sleep and that you are eating well is important. It is surprising what can trigger a relapse but as long as you take care of your mind and body, you are much less likely to suffer cravings. It is also a good idea to get some exercise each day, even if this is just a twenty-minute walk. Feeling fit and healthy will make you proud of your accomplishments and you will be less likely to fall back into old habits.
Communicate with Loved Ones
Your loved ones are no doubt proud of you for having come so far and will want to ensure you continue with your sobriety. Do not shut them out after rehab, as opening up lines of communication with your friends and family members means that you will always have someone to talk to if you are feeling low. Family support is an excellent resource for recovering addicts so make sure you are open with them and let them know when things get tough. You may find that talking things through with the people you love is enough to get you back on track again.
Call the Professionals
If you are in a situation where you think you might drink or use again, contact Addiction Helper. Our team of advisors and counsellors can offer support and advice to help you through this period of uncertainty. We can put you in touch with a treatment centre if required or simply provide a much-needed listening ear and addiction advice.