So you’ve successfully completed residential rehab treatment and you are now set to live your life in recovery. All the hard work is over and it’s all downhill from there on out.
But only if that was true!
Unfortunately, ‘going to rehab’ is only the beginning of your addiction treatment. In reality, the hard work is still ahead. You need to navigate away from relapse and remain in recovery for the rest of your life. Generally, the first year in recovery will be the toughest, but with the advice we provide below, we are confident you can achieve your recovery goals and thus live a happier and more fulfilling life without alcohol and drugs.
When you return home following the completion of your rehabilitation programme, you will then be exposed to all the relapse triggers that caused you to become addicted in the first place. Your resolve will be tested, and you will need the cognitive strength to overcome these triggers, otherwise, all your hard work up to this point will be in vein.
Below we have compiled tips and tricks to help you avoid relapse and thus remain in recovery.
Avoid relapse triggers
During your rehabilitation programme, you will have undertook exercises that help you understand and recognise your relapse triggers. These triggers are generally physical and psychological in nature. Triggers include real people, real places and real emotions.
Most people are usually able to list tens of relapse triggers. The secret is to be on constant look out for these triggers so you may act accordingly when they surface.
During your rehabilitation programme, you will have worked out proven and workable strategies for navigating these triggers without relapsing. Keep your notes close to you and continuously revise your triggers so you are absolutely able to recognise them when they arise.
If triggers are avoidable, we recommend you take that option and choose not to expose yourself to these triggers in the first place. If triggers are unavoidable, then you will have no choice but to implement some of the relapse prevention techniques you learned during your rehabilitation programme.
Avoid boredom by staying busy
It’s essential you avoid boredom by keeping your mind busy. One easy way to accomplish this is to adopt a healthy and active lifestyle. For your information, there is a strong relationship between a sober lifestyle and a healthy lifestyle. This explains why so many people in recovery take up extreme fitness.
It is important that you get structured and regular exercise. It’s also important that you eat well and get plenty of sleep. Living a healthy lifestyle is an almost sure-fire way to ensure your sober lifestyle is not put at risk.
Another way to keep your mind busy is to join a local support group. This could be AA, NA or SMART Recovery. When you are new to recovery, we recommend you undertake the famous ’90 meetings in 90 days’ offered through either NA or AA. This will ensure you are busy for the initial three months of your recovery.
You may also consider taking up a non-physical activity. If possible, try to join a hobbyist group that’s social and supportive. For instance, you could join a sewing, painting or reading group. You may wish to hide your recovery from these people until they gain your trust and friendship.
Consider long term rehab
Another option open to you is to consider attending a long term rehab centre. This will mean you avoid relapse triggers for around a six-to-twelve month period. Here, you will adjust to sober living without bad influences that test your resolve. For more information on rehab clinics in the UK, contact us today on 0125 353 0553.