Addiction recovery is more than a simple process of eliminating substances from the body. It’s about rebuilding your life, and it takes time. While you don’t have to avoid everyday situations that might trigger cravings or urges, you do need to develop an awareness of the early signs of relapse so you can take action to avoid them before they intensify. Therefore, here are some expert-backed strategies for avoiding relapse.
Join An Active Recovery Group Or Meeting
Maintaining sobriety is harder than achieving it. Continuously attending support groups or meetings is as important for maintaining sobriety as is taking your medication. Meeting new people in these settings will help build new friendships, and doing so regularly can keep you accountable. As seen at www.help4addiction.co.uk, these are also great places to find motivation and inspiration, especially if you’re feeling down or experiencing cravings again. The more you surround yourself with people who are engaged in living healthy sober lifestyles, the more likely you are to stay on track.
Find New Hobbies And Healthy Social Activities
Recovering addicts need to rebuild their lives, and that includes re-establishing healthy habits and activities they can enjoy to replace the destructive ones that led to addiction. For example, perhaps you used to enjoy surfing but gave it up when you were drinking or using drugs. Now is the time to dust off your board and get back out there. The more positive things you have in your life like meaningful work, passionate hobbies, unselfish pursuits, the less likely you are to want to numb yourself with substances again.
Build A Strong Social Support Network
Having a good support system is vital for avoiding relapse. You need people in your life who are supportive of your sobriety, and who are invested in your health. If you have close friends or family members outside of the home environment, spend more time with them instead of being isolated at home alone. Reach out to others if you feel negative emotions building up, so they can try to help identify what’s going on before it evolves into unhealthy cravings or urges to abuse something again. It will also be helpful to have an accountability partner or “sobriety buddy” you can call or text for help if you feel tempted.
Avoid Tempting Substances And Situations
Although exposure isn’t always a precursor to relapse, it does increase the risk. While you can’t predict what will trigger cravings or cause urges, there are things you can do to help minimize your exposure to certain substances and triggers until you feel more in control of yourself again. For example, if bars were places where you used to drink excessively but they now make you uncomfortable due to these memories of poor behavior, then perhaps stick with coffee shops or restaurants that serve alcohol for now. It’s ok to have your own pace.
Addiction recovery is a process. Relapse is always a risk, but if you practice self-care and adopt healthy coping strategies in advance, then the chances of avoiding it all together are good. By keeping the abovementioned tips in mind, then you can be more proactive in your recovery and live a happy and fulfilling sober lifestyle.