Alcohol and drug addiction have become an epidemic in our country. While both are equally devastating to the lives of not only the person struggling but also their loved ones, today, we will be focusing solely on the former. Although alcohol is a chronic disorder, it doesn’t have to be terminal.
Far too many friends and family members had to say goodbye to someone they loved who could not get and stay sober.
Even though there are so many incredible alcohol recovery programs out there, what happens after the patient leaves causes relapse issues. Here are five ways to help give yourself the best opportunity to stay sober:
1. Identify Your Triggers (People, Places, and Situations) and Avoid Them
This can be one of the most challenging adjustments for people beginning the journey of alcohol recovery. Especially when it comes to the people you associate with. Even though someone may enable your drinking, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t good people. However, anyone or anything that impedes your sobriety has to be removed for long-term success.
2. Keep Yourself Occupied
One of the major causes of relapse is boredom. You may be surprised to learn how many people who reenroll in treatment centers do so because they slipped up because they had nothing else to do. Whether it is a hobby, exercising, taking classes, or any other positive activity, just make sure you don’t have too much time on your hands day after day.
3. Create a Positive Support System
Having healthy, positive people around you is crucial to your success. These can be family and friends, people at a 12-step program or other therapy sessions, coworkers, or anyone who doesn’t enable you to drink.
4. Continue Taking Your Prescriptions
If you have prescribed medications to help with your alcohol recovery, you must continue to take them. This includes prescriptions that address any mental health issues you may have, such as depression, anxiety, or even schizophrenia.
Mental health problems are a big reason that many people drink. Simply completing a treatment program for alcohol recovery does not eliminate the need to still care for your psychological/emotional needs; they are two separate issues.
5. Never be Afraid to Seek Help from Others
Sometimes all that stands in the way between you and relapsing is someone being there for you during a difficult moment. Whether it is your sponsor, counselor, friend, or family member, if you feel the temptation to drink, do not hesitate to reach out to them.
Your Journey of Alcohol Recovery Never Ends
Just because you slip up once, or even from time to time, does not mean you have failed. It simply means that you are learning what it truly means to be an alcoholic. It is a disease that you have to be constantly aware of and diligent about.
And if you continue to struggle, a treatment center can help get you back on the path to sobriety, even if you’ve already completed a program before.