Completing a recovery program is a significant accomplishment for many people who struggle with drug or alcohol addiction. The next challenge is to stay clean after leaving the program. There are always going to be temptations in the world for recovering addicts. Fortunately, remaining clean and sober is possible with the right support and actions. Several tips will help you to stay clean post-recovery.
Avoid People Still Abusing Drugs or Alcohol
One of the most important ways to stay clean is to avoid people who are still abusing drugs or alcohol. You might be returning to an environment where old friends who enabled your previous behaviors are still abusing different substances. You want to stay far away from these individuals since they could actively encourage you to relapse. Speak to these people only when they are clean and sober. Cut off all contact with chronic drug or alcohol users who are always intoxicated.
Develop Constructive New Hobbies
Many people turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to pass the time. You want to develop constructive new hobbies in order to fill your free time. This could be exercising, reading or doing something enjoyable that does not harm your mind and body. Pursue as many constructive activities as necessary to keep your mind off drinking or doing drugs. This can give you the best chance of avoiding a relapse after recovery.
Live a Healthy Lifestyle
You need to start living a healthy lifestyle after recovery. You want to eat a balanced diet that includes vegetables and foods that are full of vitamins and nutrients. Exercise on a regular basis. Be certain to get the right amount of restful sleep every night. It is much easier to resist the cravings for drugs or alcohol when your body is rested and healthy. A healthy lifestyle can also help to start reversing some of the damage done by the drugs or alcohol.
Communicate Regularly With Supportive Family and Friends
Substance abuse can lead to long periods of isolation. It can destroy even the strongest relationships over time. Social isolation increases the likelihood of a relapse after recovery. This is why you need to communicate regularly with supportive family members and friends. These individuals will become your support network. A support network can help you through tough times so that you do not turn back to drugs or alcohol. Maintain and build strong relationships with people who can help.
Stay Away From Risky Events or Locations
The risk of relapsing is much higher if you visit locations where other people are drinking or using drugs. This includes locations where you might have used substances in the past. You want to stay away from these events and locations at all times. Do not go to office parties or holiday celebrations where you know there will be alcohol or drug use. Do not visit bars or other locations that were associated with your addiction. If you are at an event where substance abuse begins, then politely leave as soon as possible.
Break Old Patterns and Routines
Many people who struggle with addiction develop a specific routine that revolves around the substance abuse. You will want to break old patterns and routines. Develop new routines that are different. This can mean doing new things like volunteering on weekends. You might want to take a different route home from work or school to avoid passing by places where you purchased drugs or alcohol. A relapse is a very real risk if you maintain the same old routine since you will notice the absence of drugs or alcohol. A new routine can prevent cravings during the day.
Take Advantage of Aftercare Programs
A final thing to do is to take advantage of aftercare programs. These are outpatient or relapse prevention programs offered by treatment centers. You might have access to regular group meetings or online programs. You might have the phone number of an addiction counselor. Do not ignore aftercare. People who take part in aftercare programs are far less likely to relapse than people who do not. The regular contact or meetings can help you to stay clean after returning to your normal life.