There are many reasons to learn how to stay sober from drugs – here are 7 tips to help you on your journey.
Completing detox and finishing a rehabilitation program to get sober is an incredible feeling for anyone who has struggled with addiction. It is normal to feel a variety of emotions upon successfully concluding your drug treatment. While you might feel proud of yourself for sticking with it and getting clean, there may be some fears about stepping back out into the real world. Life is full of stressors and potential triggers, so keep in mind that feeling uncertain about the future at first happens to many people leaving rehab. There are numerous reasons to stay sober from drugs and alcohol, especially considering how hard you worked in rehab. But how to stay sober from drugs is a different story. Here are our top 7 favorite tips that can help you:
- Don’t be hard on yourself – If living in recovery is new for you, keep in mind it takes some getting used to. Don’t expect sobriety to be easy all the time, or put expectations on yourself that can cause a lot of stress or trigger a relapse. Remember the popular motto to take it one day at a time, and be proud of how far you have come.
- Don’t discount aftercare services – Taking advantage of aftercare services is key when it comes to how to help a drug addict stay clean. In rehab, you most likely learned about sober living homes, 12-step programs, and support groups near you. These services are all in place to help you stay sober and take back your life, all while being supported and encouraged. They are also a great place to meet other people who are traveling the same journey as you.
- Keep attending therapy – Continuing therapy after rehab can be extremely useful in staying sober. You can learn additional coping mechanisms, and also strategies to help you if you become stressed. Therapy can also help you resolve family conflict that may have occurred because of your addiction. Reconnecting and forming healthy relationships with family and friends are great reasons to stay sober – let therapy help you with this!
- Be protective of your environment – One of the quickest ways to being tempted to fall back into using drugs or alcohol is to start frequenting old hangouts, or reconnecting with people who are addicts. You have worked so hard to get clean, protect yourself and your future by occupying your time with positive people and activities. Take advantage of support groups, try a new hobby, sign up for a class near you, or join a gym. In time, you will meet new people who have similar goals and interests as you.
- Try prayer or meditation – As mentioned early, you may feel a wide range of emotions when transitioning back to the real world from rehab. If you find yourself stressed or you can’t seem to quiet your thoughts, consider prayer or meditation. YouTube has countless meditation and mindfulness videos that can help you relax and center yourself. Prayer and meditation are also commonly suggested by support groups and 12-step programs because of the benefits to the mind and body.
- Plan for 24-hours – One tip to help you not feel overwhelmed is to plan for the 24 hours ahead of you, instead of putting so much pressure on yourself regarding the future. Focus on today, how you will spend it, what you will do, and steps that will help to keep you from using drugs or alcohol.
- Bring a trusted friend on outings – One aspect of sobriety that can stir up emotions for an addict can be attending social functions or parties. You may be wondering how to stay sober when drinking is occurring all around you. Have a plan in place; keep a glass of water or another non-alcoholic liquid with you so no one offers to get you a drink. Bring your own non-alcoholic beverages with you if alcohol is going to be present. And most of all, ask a trusted friend or family member to come with you and hold you accountable. You and your friend can also make a plan to leave if you become tempted or uncomfortable.