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First Year of Sobriety

first year of sobriety

As you transition from life in a formal addiction treatment program to life in addiction recovery, you can expect many things to happen. However, you will need to prioritize maintaining your sobriety, which is why you should consider being part of a relapse prevention program.

Reintegrating back into society after overcoming addiction can feel a lot like a rollercoaster ride, as there will be many ups and downs. You will face many challenges but you will need to keep on pushing forward with the right tools and coping skills. To truly overcome addiction, you must learn how to maintain sobriety — no matter what. Are you in your first year of sobriety and searching for a relapse prevention program in Florida? Contact Lighthouse Recovery Institute today. Call 866.308.2090 or reach out to our team online.

What Can You Expect From Your First Year of Sobriety?

First, remember that what works for others in your situation may not work for you. Staying sober is a challenge for everyone in addiction recovery, but building your strategy is fundamental to maintaining sobriety and relapse prevention.

However, those who have overcome addiction and are maintaining a sober life may have some helpful tips. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help or support if your first year of sobriety feels difficult to get through. Knowing what works for you and having a support network is what can make your first year of sobriety easier, and a great introduction to the rest of your sober life.

Expect Emotional Challenges

Many clients will feel an almost euphoric feeling of happiness after formal treatment ends. It’s because they know that they’re now living a life that’s healthier than when they were struggling with addiction. However, this feeling may easily fade as they find it difficult to go back to their everyday lives.

In your first year of sobriety, you’ll have good and bad days — and that’s normal. You’ll need to learn how you manage these feelings with the right emotional tools. You need the good and the bad to live authentically in recovery.

Understand Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS)

Long-term addiction can cause brain chemistry to need more time to rebalance after detox. As this happens, you may experience different withdrawal symptoms. This condition is known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). Only some people in addiction recovery experience PAWS, but common symptoms include the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Low energy
  • Mood swings

These long-term withdrawal symptoms will eventually fade. However, you may need professional help to cope with them properly.

Prepare for the Risk of Relapse

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), up to 60% of people in recovery relapse. It’s important to be aware of the risk of relapse and to actively avoid situations that put you at risk. And, if you relapse, it’s important to remember it’s just a setback — your work in overcoming addiction isn’t erased.

Use the relapse as an opportunity to make changes to your relapse prevention strategies to make them more effective. You may consider being part of a relapse prevention program if you aren’t already.

What Are Some Sober Living Tips That Can Actually Help You?

Staying sober — whether during your first year of sobriety or later on — may never feel effortless or easy to maintain. What’s important is to always remember the importance of committing to sobriety. You can even adjust your lifestyle to make it easier to stick to being sober.

Maintain Sober Relationships

One of the changes you can expect in your first year of sobriety is the lineup of your close friends and family. Some close relationships may have been permanently damaged by your addictive behavior and need time to heal. Some may simply be unhealthy, such as connections with people who have addictions of their own.

Whatever the case may be for your close friends and family, you will often need to seek and create new relationships with people. If you choose people who’ve also committed to sobriety, you’ll find that it’ll be easier to hang out and be social with them

Create a Healthy Schedule

Having a healthy routine in early recovery can increase your chances of maintaining a sober life. Boredom, stress, and feeling overwhelmed by work and emotions can all undermine your work in maintaining your sobriety. Creating healthy outlets for your energy can help you manage your time and feelings.

Make time for new hobbies and activities. Reflect on what triggers you and find a way to relieve any stress you may have. Focus your time on what you need to do to keep pushing forward.

Stick With a Relapse Prevention Program

You can also continue to work on addiction recovery by being part of a 12-step program. Whatever may be the best fit for you, you need to be part of a supportive group of your peers. This will increase your chances of maintaining long-term sobriety.

What Is a Relapse Prevention Program?

Sober living can be difficult to maintain. A relapse prevention program is typically offered by a facility to clients after their formal addiction treatment programs end. It can consist of techniques, measures, and tools to help avoid relapsing.

Many relapse prevention programs have a skills-based approach that requires clients and clinicians to identify situations that place the clients at greater risk for relapse. Then, they develop healthy cognitive and behavioral strategies to address those specific high-risk situations. With more effective coping, clients develop increased confidence to handle challenging situations without turning to addictive substances.

Ready To Learn More About Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s Relapse Prevention Program?

If you’re looking for a relapse prevention program in Florida, contact Lighthouse Recovery Institute today. Reach out to our team online or call 866.308.2090.