When you struggle with addiction, such as alcohol abuse, weed addiction, or perhaps in more serious drug, like cocaine or methamphetamines, taking the first step to acknowledge you have a problem and commit to programs offered in drug abuse rehab centers is a very brave move. Next, going through the program offered to you by the drug abuse rehab centers is excruciatingly hard. Successfully completing it is probably one of the greatest senses of accomplishment you will ever experience.
However, after you leave the drug abuse rehab centers’ protective barrier, you have to reenter life. Unfortunately, the tendency toward addiction is something that you will always have inside of you, and it is not uncommon for a recovered addict to relapse when faced with the usual stress of life. In order to have the greatest chance of a lifelong recovery, it is important to follow these five steps after you graduate from your drug abuse rehab centers’ program.
Five Important Steps for Avoiding Relapse After Completing the Drug Rehab Process
- Avoid temptation.
No matter how great your desire to stay clean, the human will is only so strong. Putting yourself in a position where you are tempted to return to the substance of your addiction is particularly dangerous. Make it your lifelong principal to stay away from triggers that will tempt you to return — whether they are emotional situations, or physical. Stay away from places where you regularly used your substance before getting clean. Be cautious about letting yourself get into a position where you are emotionally vulnerable and turn to your past addiction to cope.
Even if it is painful, it is essential that you sever relationships with people who do not support your lifestyle, or who trigger emotions that lead you to relapse. Take dramatic steps: change your phone number, delete their contact information, and block them on social media.
- Build a support network.
Just as you should avoid people who do not support you clean lifestyle, it is equally important to build relationships with ones who understands your journey and support you staying clean. Spend your time with people who do not abuse in the substances, and who are aware of your commitment to stay clean. Become faithful to support groups and people who understand your journey. Focus your attention building a network of healthy relationships that will give you the greatest opportunity to stay clean.
- Develop a healthy routine.
As they say, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” When you have too much time on your hands, it is more likely that your mind will wander back to your old habits. Getting on a regular schedule that involves discipline is a good way to avoid that scenario.
A healthy routine should involve activities like work, time building relationships (as mentioned previously), and hobbies that support a healthy lifestyle, such as physical activity and things that challenge you mentally. This is not to say you are not allowed any free time, it is just important to keep yourself from getting bored. Frequent boredom often leads to relapsing.
- Don’t stop fighting.
One of the most common reasons for relapsing is complacency. When you first graduate from your treatment program, you have the tenacity to continue working towards staying clean. Over time, you might become relaxed about attending meetings, or let your guard down. As your will to fight begins to dwindle, you let yourself get in positions that are not healthy and could lead to relapse. We aren’t saying your drug rehab program is a lifelong commitment; you should stay in it as long as it is beneficial to you. However, the important factor is that you never stop working towards staying clean.
- Don’t let failure be your final chapter.
Relapse is an unfortunate part of the recovery journey, but does not have to be your ultimate conclusion. If you do succumb to a relapse, use it as a step in growing and learning more about yourself, strengthening your recovery process. Reflect on what led to the relapse, and how you could avoid in the future, let it be a steppingstone towards staying clean permanently.
Are you on the path to lifelong addiction recovery? Do you have tips to contribute in the fight to stay clean? Please contribute them below.