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26 NOV 2018

Life After Rehab: How to Remain Sober After In-Patient Treatment

Congratulations, you made it through rehab! I'm sure you're excited about living life substance-free, but probably feeling nervous at the same time. Staying sober in the real world will offer new challenges you didn't have to deal with while in treatment.

Having a plan ahead of time is vital. Keep reading to discover our best tips on how to stay sober and successfully move forward with your new life.

Know Your Triggers

Certain situations can cause cravings for alcohol and drugs. You've learned about unhealthy coping mechanisms during your treatment program and these things are their triggers. By knowing what they are ahead of time, you can prepare to recognize and deal with them in the right way.

Some examples of trigger situations are:

  • Stress and hard times.
  • Familiar social activities.
  • Old friends or acquaintances you've used with.
  • Locations where you've used drugs or alcohol in the past.
  • Previous experiences you relate to using, including sounds, smells, or times of the day.

It's helpful to keep a journal of triggers and how they affect you. Also, note how you've successfully dealt with them so you have it for next time.

Trade Old Habits for New Activities

Staying clean and sober is a life-long process. You'll need to find and develop healthy activities to replace the old destructive ones. The main thing to remember here is that you can have fun without using.

At first, other activities may seem a little boring. Keep in mind that it takes at least two months before habits become automatic. But after you build new habits you'll enjoy things like:

  • Watching Movies
  • Taking Music Lessons
  • Playing Games
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Reading
  • Blogging to Help Others
  • Sports and Physical Fitness
  • Attending a Class
  • Outdoor Activities
  • Photography
  • Spending Time with Loved Ones

You'll have more money to take part in hobbies and activities too because you're not buying drugs or alcohol with it. You've got a long time to live, so live it well.

Assemble a Support System

Having a support system in place after treatment is crucial for staying sober. These are people and programs that will help you carry out your recovery plans and provide emotional, financial, and physical help if needed. Look to family, friends, and health care professionals to fill these roles.

Ask about any aftercare programs that may come with your treatment program as well. They could include:

  • Housing Services
  • Assistance with Legal Issues
  • Employment Services
  • Medication Management
  • Individual and Group Counseling

That said, completely avoid drug and alcohol abusers. These kinds of people tend to trigger a desire to use again.

How to Stay Sober: Final Thoughts

Knowing how to stay sober is only part of the equation; the other part requires commitment and planning. Learn to pay attention to your thoughts and inner feelings and deal with them as they come. Be good to yourself and always remember to reach out for help whenever you need it.

You can do this! Need help with addiction or staying sober? Contact us, we'd love to help!


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