If you started off the New Year committed to living a sober life you are well on your way to a new and exciting chapter. To continue on that path, you need to stay strong in recovery. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that between 40 and 60 percent of people recovering from a substance abuse addiction will relapse. (1) Your goal is to avoid falling into that statistic. While people may offer you words of encouragement to help keep you going, there are several things you can do for yourself when it comes to relapse prevention. Let’s take a look.
Build Healthy Relationships to Stay Strong in Recovery
As many individuals go through rehab, they realize that there were others along the way who contributed to their addiction. To stay sober, it’s vital to end those relationships. Focus on building new, healthy relationships with people who want to contribute to your sobriety, not your addiction.
Many people make new relationships in therapy groups, support sessions or when they take up new hobbies. It’s important to make connections with new people so that you don’t resort to toxic relationships and behaviors.
Start an Exercise Program
Research shows that exercise helps to battle stress and depression, both of which can lead to relapse. (2) If you want to stay on the sober path, try a new exercise program. It can be anything from running to yoga. Decide what interests you the most and get moving! You’ll not only work to battle stress and depression, but you’ll also help your body get physically fit.
Plan Ahead for Parties & Social Events
When it comes to relapse prevention, planning ahead for parties, holidays and other social events is crucial. Valentine’s Day can be especially triggering or alienating for some who are early in their recovery. Once a time celebrated with wine and champagne, you will now have to look for other ways to celebrate this special day.
With holidays like St. Patrick’s Day, which is often associated with drinking, it can be difficult to remain sober. But, you can still have fun without alcohol or drugs. Look for ways to bring fun to a party by wearing a funny shirt or cracking a few jokes. This way you can still be part of the fun while staying sober.
At parties, politely refuse a drink. If the host pressures you to drink, you can say you are the designated driver or you can choose to leave early. If you don’t think you can do that at this point in your recovery, it may be best to decline the invitation. It’s not worth risking your sobriety over one party.
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Find a New Focus
For many in recovery, drugs or alcohol became the focus of their lives. To stay sober, it’s important to find a new focus. This can be a new hobby or perhaps even a new career. If your job was depressing you and leading you to abuse drugs or alcohol, then getting a new job and starting fresh may be good for you. Finding a new focus that invigorates you and makes you want to get up in the morning can help when it comes to relapse prevention.
Attend Therapy Sessions & Seek Professional Help
Continuing to attend group and individual therapy sessions can help to prevent relapse. Getting the support from others who are going through the same thing as well as the input from professionals can give you the momentum you need to remain sober.
At Ocean Hills Recovery, patients can take part in the 12-step recovery program as they continue to work on their sobriety. Our staff works closely with each patient to help them discover new interests as they clear their minds and bodies. Each program is tailored to the patient’s needs and combines therapy, medical, psychological, and spiritual approaches to keep them on the path to sobriety. We offer art and music therapy as well as yoga classes as part of the approach to treating our patients.
If you need help in battling your addiction or remaining sober call Ocean Hills Recovery today or send us a message online. Let us help you live the sober life you deserve.
About the author:
Greg opened his home and heart to alcoholics and addicts in 2003. He is a Certified Addictions Treatment Counselor (CATCI). Starting in 2009 Greg has fostered the growth of Ocean Hills Recovery into one of the most respected and effective treatment centers in the area and has been working with people with addictions since March of 2001. Greg believes in a holistic approach to recovery. His focus is on drug alcohol addiction treatment with a combination of 12 Step work, therapy and counseling, and the rejuvenation of the body through healthful eating and exercise. He has designed his program to foster a family-like atmosphere and believes that people in recovery are just beginning their lives. He encourages the people he works with to learn to enjoy life in sobriety. Greg is married to Nicole; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.