Tips for Improving Success in Drug Addiction Recovery
Navigating drug addiction recovery can feel like an uphill battle. It consists of physical, mental, and emotional challenges. Working with a knowledgeable team of experts and practitioners is integral for success, but self-empowerment and ownership also play a role.
Here are some helpful tips for taking control and improving success in drug addiction recovery.
Find Professional and Peer Support
Having a team oversee detox and the initial stages of sobriety is a must for health and safety, but the work doesn’t end with in-patient treatment. Creating a support network of both professionals and peers for ongoing guidance can help improve your success in recovery after treatment is over.
There’s a common misconception that all NA meetings are the same, following a 12-step program with religion as the focal point. That’s a myth. According to findrecovery.com, there are several types of meetings appealing to people of different beliefs and backgrounds. You can find open meetings that allow family members, closed meetings for only those facing addiction, women-only meetings, LGBTQ+ meetings, etc.
While you may feel hesitant in seeking peer support, there’s value in connecting with others who know the challenges of addiction first-hand. If your first meeting doesn’t resonate, keep an open mind about trying again.
Create a Safe Environment
Creating a safe environment at home is another vital part of the process. This experience looks different for everyone, based on their lifestyle and family situation. Someone who lives alone will have different security measures than someone with a spouse or parents at home.
Your home should be kept free of substances and have clear definitions surrounding enabling behaviors. If your addiction led to poor financial decisions, consider having your spouse or a trusted advisor assist with financial management. Create an emergency contact list and feature it prominently in case you or your family start noticing signs of an impending relapse. Education for everyone in the household will also play an important role here.
Finally, your home should feel like a safe space where you can focus on your recovery. If the environment isn’t conducive to your recovery, explore alternative arrangements.
Learn To Speak Your Truth
Learning to communicate and share your emotions is integral for recovery. Interpersonal relationships are complex in the best situations. As you navigate your recovery, you’ll likely have to end some relationships and repair others while learning to advocate for yourself.
For many facing recovery, navigating interpersonal relationships is one of the most challenging aspects post-treatment. It’s also important to consider what you’ll share about your addiction and how you’ll communicate it to others. Many people prefer to practice an explanation and responses to maintain boundaries and practice self-care in triggering situations.
Cut Unhelpful Social Ties
It’s common knowledge that seeking treatment for drug addiction typically means cutting ties with contacts and friends from within that realm. This experience can be incredibly isolating. However, it’s essential to distance yourself from people who are still using, to promote your recovery.
Active users aren’t the only ones to watch for as you recover. If there are people in your life who don’t support your sobriety, cause you undue stress or create a toxic environment, you should consider cutting ties with them as well. Stress management is integral for success in sobriety. If people can’t respect you or the boundaries you create, they can’t be a part of the journey.
Set Intentional Goals
There’s power in having something to work toward. Take time to reflect and determine what you want from your new life. You may have goals to correct some of the errors from your past, such as mending relationships or regaining financial independence. You might also have goals related to skills and hobbies, such as getting back to playing music or learning how to run.
Set short and long-term goals outlining what you hope to accomplish in the future. Creating a blend of small actions and a longer-term vision can help you keep moving forward on challenging days.
Explore New Hobbies
Finding new activities and events unrelated to drugs, triggering places, or unhelpful people is a must during recovery. Consider whether there are skills you wish you had learned before or if there’s something fun you’d like to try.
Use this opportunity to reconnect with yourself and learn what you like. Choose practical hobbies like cooking and exercise, or find your outlet with the arts.
Know Your Signs and Triggers
Knowing your triggers and the signs of an impending relapse is critical in the recovery journey. Identifying your triggers and working to avoid them will help minimize the risk of a relapse, especially during the early days. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to avoid all stresses or triggers, so having an action plan for those events is also advised.
Learn to identify the signs of an impending relapse so you can ask for help from a trusted friend, family member, or professional support person.
Create Structure and Routine
Creating structure and a daily routine in your life will help you create normalcy and consistency. Humans are creatures of habit. Building positive routines that help you rebuild your health and life outside treatment is necessary for long-term success.
Incorporate Holistic Health
While you should never sacrifice professional treatment for non-medical practices, incorporating holistic health activities will support your ongoing recovery. Focus on the core elements of your health, including nutrition, hydration, sleep, physical activity, and stress management. These focal points will help your body and mind heal while minimizing the risk of relapse.
Try for One More Day
Some days will be more challenging than others. While it’s important to look ahead and plan for the future, it’s also important to understand that all you have is today. You must get through today to get to all of the tomorrows.
If you’re struggling, put your relapse action plan in place and contact your support network. Then, push yourself to stay sober for one more day. If you still feel bad tomorrow, try for one more day. Keep doing this while using your resources— the only way out is through.
The healing journey is one filled with ups and downs, but it gets easier with time. Use the resources you have available, focus on self-care, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.