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Successful recovery with respect to substance abuse largely depends on the things one does after they complete their stay in a drug or alcohol rehab center.

While in addiction treatment facilities, individuals learn not only about their addiction and what may have led to it, but also relapse triggers and cues, ways to deal with high risk situations and how to build an individualized relapse prevention plan to best help them sustain long-term recovery.  Addiction is a chronic, progressive brain disease and cannot be cured.  It requires lifetime treatment.  Individuals in early recovery often struggle with feelings of boredom, loneliness, anger, fear, depression and/or anxiety which can lead to relapse.  These emotions are often due to the drastic change in lifestyle following addiction treatment.  Addicts are told they need to change one thing – everything – their friends, places they hang out, etc. in order to stay sober.

This can be overwhelming. While in addiction treatment facilities, individuals learn not only about their addiction and what may have led to it, but also relapse triggers and cues, ways to deal with high risk situations and how to build an individualized relapse prevention plan to best help them sustain long-term recovery.  Addiction is a chronic, progressive brain disease and cannot be cured.  It requires lifetime treatment.  Individuals in early recovery often struggle with feelings of boredom, loneliness, anger, fear, depression and/or anxiety which can lead to relapse.  These emotions are often due to the drastic change in lifestyle following addiction treatment.  Addicts are told they need to change one thing – everything – their friends, places they hang out, etc. in order to stay sober.  This can be overwhelming.

While relapse prevention plans should be individualized, there are some commonalities that can be applied across the board.

 

  1. Use your tools – skills you learned such as mindfulness, how to connect with your higher power, how to deal with peer pressure and relapse triggers and cues.
  2. Avoid temptation. Old people, places and things may trigger you.  Don’t surround yourself around people or places that make it easy to drink or drug, no matter how strong you feel.  Stick with new friends you meet in recovery.
  3. Stick to your plan.  Eat regular meals, get the right amount of exercise and sleep, attend 12-step meetings, get a sponsor, pray, keep scheduled appointments and return to work/school.  Having a routine helps provide a foundation upon which to build your recovery.  Don’t become bored and change your routine up by participating in a new recovery activity each week.  Going to different meetings and sober events like workshops and dances allows you to meet new people.
  4. Stay busy.  If you feel like you want to drink/drug out of boredom or loneliness, call your support system.  Make new friends, find new hobbies and healthy activities to occupy your time.  Staying busy will also help with feelings of self-esteem.
  5. Talk about your struggles.  Sharing what’s going on with you may not only help you, it may also help someone else.  It is likely that others may have experienced similar situations and may be able to offer suggestions.  Don’t isolate.
  6. Give back.  Volunteer – help others, be a little more selfless.  You will find people who need you – just like you needed people when you first got sober. By volunteering, you not only help others, you increase your self-esteem and feel like you have a purpose.

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SCORE Certified Drug Rehab and Sober Living in Reno-Sparks and Carson City, Nevada

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