You should feel very proud of yourself after completing inpatient rehab for substance-abuse. Whether you went through inpatient rehab for alcohol abuse, weed addiction, or any other substance abuse issues, the act of recognizing your problem, joining an inpatient rehab, and going through the program, even when it felt impossible, is a huge accomplishment.
As you probably learned through your drug rehab process, even after completing your inpatient program, remaining drug-free is a lifelong commitment. A few things that you can do to help yourself avoid a relapse include:
- Flee From Temptation
Even if you have the best intentions, being in a place of temptation will make the strongest wills weak. Avoid both emotional and physical triggers to the substance that you went through rehab for. Try to stay away from people who have not committed to staying clean from the substance you struggle with. Avoid places that trigger memories from your old life. The best way to get yourself through a moment of weakness is to not let yourself get in it to begin with.
- Create a Healthy Support System
In addition to cutting off relationships with people who don’t support your substance free life, you need to create relationships with people who are supportive. It is essential to surround yourself with people who do not use, and who understand your struggle and will support you. It might be painful to sever relationships with people you’ve known a long time, but if they are still substance users, or do not support your clean lifestyle, it is essential for your own health to do so.
- Develop a Healthy Routine
By creating a schedule for time you spend at work, family time, and support groups, you will establish structure in your life. One of the greatest culprits behind relapses is boredom. When you have a healthy routine, you are minimizing the chances of boredom. As the saying goes, “The devil finds work for idle hands.”
- Be Faithful to What Works
Many times, after you’ve gone through a recovery program, you are energized to participate in support groups and twelve-step programs. After you’ve remained substance free for a length of time, that energy tends to subside. When you find yourself less involved and focused on recovery, you will find you have the least amount of accountability and are at the highest risk of relapse. Get yourself into some great support groups, and stay faithful to them.
- When You Fall, Dust Yourself Off and Keep Going
Relapse is an unfortunate fact in recovery. Don’t give up if you have relapsed, your addiction is not the end of your story. Connect with your support group and begin working on recovery again. Learn from your mistakes; identify what led to your relapse, so that you can avoid in the future. Let your relapse be a milestone on the path to your lifelong recovery.
Are you on a substance abuse recovery journey? Please contribute your experience and how you stay clean in the comment section below.