Alcohol and drugs have become a part of our mainstream culture, with popular celebrities endorsing beer and tobacco through commercials. The act of consuming these substances on special occasions or in social settings, such as sipping beer while watching football or using drugs while hanging out with friends, may seem harmless and enjoyable. However, one cannot predict when occasional or binge drinking can transform into a dependency, leading to addiction. Although drinking in moderation is not necessarily harmful, addiction can prove to be dangerous and even life-threatening.
Becoming addicted may have been easy, but recovering from addiction is a difficult and exhausting process that requires immense strength and willpower. Studies have shown that 40 to 60 percent of people who attempt addiction recovery ultimately fail and experience a relapse.
For most people staying sober is not an easy task. They may relapse, which can take a toll on their mental and physical health. The situation becomes worse when the relapse happens after completing the entire treatment plan. The addicted individual may feel hopeless and will experience a sense of shame that can hinder their recovery process. Therefore, it is important to learn some strategies that can help in staying sober.
So, delve into this guide to learn some strategies to stay sober and recover from addiction.
Understand the Relapse Warning Signs
Experiencing a relapse can be emotionally and physically draining for individuals in addiction recovery. It can lead to feelings of hopelessness, shame, and guilt, which can hinder their progress toward recovery. Therefore, it is essential to recognize the warning signs of relapse and take the necessary precautions. Warning signs include:
- Reverting back to the old patterns of addictive thinking.
- Becoming aggressive
- Engaging in self-defensive behaviors.
- Seeking out social situations where alcohol and drugs are present.
- Not thinking rationally
- Behaving less responsibly
Prepare for Post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS)
PAWS refers to the persistence of withdrawal symptoms even after the detoxification period. The common symptoms include fatigue, sleep issues, irritability, anxiety, and depression. The duration of PAWs can vary based on the type of substance dependency, ranging from six months to two years after the individual stops using drugs or alcohol.
Along with recognizing the symptoms of PAWS, it is necessary to know when to take help. If you are experiencing prolonged symptoms, seeking professional help will help in remaining sober without relapse.
Build Healthy relationship
Once you are sober, you will be able to identify which of your old relationship was good and which was unhealthy. Understand that it is not just your drinking buddies or drug dealers who can get you in trouble again, but it can also be someone very close to you. At times, your family member or a close friend will be enabling you even without knowing it.
Identify such toxic relationships, as they will increase your chances of relapse. Instead, focus on relationships and people who want the best for you and support you in your recovery journey.
If you are finding it difficult to make friends or meet people who will support and understand you without any judgments, it is advised to join a support group. An addiction treatment center like Rehab Near Me provides support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), SMART Recovery, and Celebrate Recovery to provide emotional and mental support to those in recovery and help them overcome the challenges they face. These groups are run by experienced professionals and peers who have gone through similar experiences and understand the difficulties of addiction and recovery.
Develop a Proper Schedule
Maintaining a structured and organized lifestyle is crucial for recovery, as a disorganized or chaotic lifestyle can be a hindrance. Therefore, developing a routine and adhering to it on a daily and weekly basis is important.
Leading a disciplined and following a structured lifestyle will help you to stay focused and achieve your goals. While maintaining sobriety is crucial, setting and pursuing other objectives can also aid in sustaining it.
Practice a Healthy lifestyle
Continuous use of alcohol or drug will take a toll on the mind and body of an individual. So, while recovering, it is essential to prioritize self-care to ensure that you remain sober. Practicing a healthy lifestyle includes:
- Exercising regularly
- Finding time for recreational activities
- Making time for horning your hobbies
- Eating well-balanced meals regularly
- Getting a good amount of sleep
- Practicing meditation, yoga, and other relaxation strategies
Sobriety is a long journey that needs persistence, willpower, and effort, and you may even encounter setbacks. So, the best way to recover from alcohol and substance abuse and maintain sobriety is to incorporate these strategies. Regardless of the strategies you include, be gentle and care for yourself, surround yourself with supportive people, and seek help from a professional.