Life after addiction treatment can be very different. It’s not uncommon for recovering addicts to get costumed to their daily life as sober individuals. Even hanging out with friends and family members becomes a different experience. However, those who struggle with drugs or alcohol abuse often learn a few hacks on how to stay sober after leaving treatment programs.
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1. Enjoy Nonalcoholic Drinks
Nowadays, most restaurants and bars offer delicious nonalcoholic beverages. Nonalcoholic drink options are great for early recovering addicts that are still having a hard time saying “no” to drinks. Next time you go out, ask for a virgin drink to have fun and avoid awkward conversations about your substance use disorder until you’re ready to talk about it.
2. Have a “No” Script
Even when they’re trying their best, sometimes sober friends can be a negative force in your recovery process. They’re likely to ask if you want a drink or invite you to a bar without realizing they’re triggering your cravings. However, for these situations, you must have a “no” script that explains you’re recovering from alcohol or drug abuse and that you’re skipping their invite for those reasons.
3. Avoid It
Sometimes you’ll walk into triggering situations without noticing it. When you realize you’re in a dangerous situation that places you at a higher risk of relapse, avoid situations. An easy relapse prevention technique is to avoid situations that increase anxiety, stress, and other triggers that might cause a relapse.
4. Have a Recovery Kit
If you’re traveling or attending an event that causes anxiety, bring your recovery kit. Ensure you have a sponsor or sober friend who knows what’s happening and keeps them on alert if you need them. Keep a list of support group meetings available near you in case you have an emergency. Bring with you anything that makes you feel good; it can be a book, a game app on your phone, a journal, or something as simple as a picture that calms you down.
5. Set a Trigger Control Mechanism
While it might seem silly at first, having a trigger-control mechanism can help prevent a relapse. For example, some people tap their foreheads, others snap a rubber band on their wrists, while some people take a walk. Find a control mechanism that can instantly strike your mindset and retrieve you from a dangerous situation.
6. Focus on Your Health
Consider life after rehab, a new opportunity to focus on health care. Learn new habits, such as eating healthy, exercising, journaling, and meditation. As you avoid situations that could be potential triggers, focus on your physical and mental health instead. Use your time to try new activities that foster sobriety and healthy living.
7. Learn When to Ask for Help
Just because you conquered substance abuse, you don’t have to let your ego take over. Everyone needs help from time to time, and learning how to ask for help is the best thing you’ll ever do for your sober life. Asking for help can mean reaching your former therapist for assistance, enrolling in an aftercare rehab program, or merely asking a friend to introduce you to more sober friends to start enjoying sober activities.
Seeking Addiction Help Today
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, don’t hesitate to seek help today. Many treatment facilities and addiction centers have programs designed to help patients learn how to stay sober. Contact us today to learn more about our medically-reviewed therapy approach to addiction, and come visit our treatment center to start your journey to sober living.