In many ways, addiction treatment is just the beginning. Your new life in recovery starts when you leave treatment and re-enter the real world.
How to Maintain Sobriety
It’s important to know that the real world often still presents a lot of challenges that are difficult to overcome. Relapse is more common than a lot of people realize. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), around 85% of individuals relapse after either getting treatment or working on their own to achieve sobriety. Many people do manage to get through relapse and returning to sobriety, but it takes hard work and determination.
Going through the right treatment program in the first place will help equip you with the skills you need to navigate your life of sobriety (including avoiding relapse and bouncing back if it does happen). At RAD Recovery Residences, we work closely with individuals from all walks of life to help them maintain sobriety.
Here are four tips you can follow that will help you maintain sobriety after treatment, now and long into the future:
1. Don’t Rush Things When Maintaining Sobriety
When you first leave addiction treatment, you may want to rush back into everyday life with gusto. This is admirable, but moving too quickly can quickly lead to a burnout, which can then lead to relapse. Set small goals for yourself, and take each day at a time (keeping a journal will help with this). This is especially crucial when it comes to rebuilding relationships with family and friends. Go as slow as you need to, and don’t force things to happen before they’re ready. Life in recovery is not a race.
On this note, if you do find yourself slipping at any moment, take the steps you need to bounce back and don’t dwell on it. Nobody is perfect, and sometimes we fall when we push ourselves too hard. A slip here or there does not mean that you have failed, and it certainly doesn’t mean that your life in recovery is over. Get back up and keep steadily working on your goals.
2. Practice Healthy Living in All Areas
Reaching sobriety naturally improves your health, so now is the perfect time to adopt a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle. You will learn more about this while in treatment, but your recovery period is when you get to really incorporate healthy tactics into everyday life. Make sure you are eating a well-balanced diet and get regular exercise. Not only will both help keep you more occupied and not focused on dangerous behavior, but they will also help to steadily repair your body from the damages wrecked by your past drug and alcohol abuse.
According to Harvard Medical School, regular workouts in particular can help keep recovering addicts more focused and decrease their substance use long-term.
3. Take up a New Hobby
One of the biggest things you can do to help maintain your sobriety is to get yourself involved in a new hobby. For some, this is a new sport. Others enjoy making art and even using their works as an expression of their feelings. For others, their hobby of choice may be anything from joining a class to learn new skills to becoming an active volunteer in their local community. Whatever you do, it should be something you enjoy and are interested in. An engaging hobby will give you something to do in your downtime that isn’t related to drug abuse and will help prevent you from thinking about it.
Many people even take up a combination of new activities. If you do this, however, it is important to make sure that you are not pushing yourself too hard to the point of burn out.
4. Follow a Schedule to Maintain Recovery
Drug abuse and addiction often lead to chaos; events are missed, work and other commitments fall to the wayside, and relationships crumble. That is why many people in addiction recovery find it useful to maintain a weekly schedule. Bringing structure back into your life while sober will help you keep commitments and make deadlines. It will also help you plan things with the people you care about and steadily rebuild the relationships you once had. It’s a good idea to schedule a moment each week to check in with yourself and think about areas you can improve on, as well as take some time to admire your progress.
We’re Here to Help With Maintaining Long-Term Sobriety
Our team at RAD Recovery Residences in Southern California is dedicated to providing recovering addicts with a safe place to live after completing treatment. Recovery is a long journey and it’s important in the beginning to surround yourself with like minded individuals. By living in a sober living, you’ll have a supportive environment while you build your new life in recovery. Contact us today to find out about our sober living for men in the San Fernando Valley!