New studies have shown that over 21 million Americans have struggled with drugs and substance abuse at some point in their life. Out of these, only 10% are known to seek formal treatment in rehabilitation centers, which begs the question of what happens to the 90%? Addiction is a disease in which an individual cannot function without engaging in the addictive practice. The road to recovery to addiction is not easy. The first big step is the individual’s decision to stop the addictive behavior and seek help. More often, this help is mainly from counselors or enrolling in a rehabilitation center and involves self-isolation.
Getting sober is hard, but staying sober has proved to be a more difficult task with research indicating that the rate of addiction relapse occurs in over 50% of addicts who had previously sought help. Most people view after rehab sobriety strategies to only incorporate Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, but is AA the only way to maintain sobriety?
What are other ways of maintaining sobriety after addiction?
There are numerous addiction support groups found not only online but also in your local neighborhood. Support groups are beneficial as addicts can voice their personal experiences with other addicts. They offer mentorship programs for newer members to older members of the support group. Some of the benefits of support groups include:
- An addict is able to get the emotional support they need to go through the difficult times.
- An addict is able to make new friends with similar life goals of maintaining their sobriety.
- An addict can have people that are held accountable.
- An individual can get tips on how to deal with cravings.
Other support groups other than Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) include SMART, Secular Organization for Sobriety (SOS), Women For Sobriety (WFS), and the 12-steps support groups. Apart from support groups, here are some other ways of maintaining sobriety after rehab.
A sponsor is a mentor who is a senior member of the support group and has been in addiction recovery for at least one year. A sponsor is like an elderly sister or a best friend you can confide in and tell them what you may not be comfortable sharing in a support group meeting. In the early recovery phase of addiction, it is recommended that one should have a sponsor. A sponsor is not a therapist; therefore, one should attend therapist appointments religiously.
Once an addict has remained sober for a considerable period, they are viable to enroll in the sponsorship programs to help new recovering addicts. Helping others will boost your self-esteem and confidence. Enrolling in such a program will keep you busy by occupying your free time, thus lessening the likelihood of a relapse.
Establish a routine.
Once out of rehab, it is vital to establish a routine. Having a structured daily, weekly, or monthly schedule will keep you busy and ensure that you meet your life goals and targets. Develop a plan and stick to it. Keep busy by:
- Engaging in new hobbies like baking, writing, or sports.
- Making new friends.
- Taking up cooking or language lessons.
- Looking for a new job.
- Enrolling in local community programs.
Change your environment.
One of the leading causes of relapses is when addicts come home to the same routines. Having the same social circles or hanging in the same joint you previously were staying will most likely lead to a relapse. It is essential to make adjustments to your lifestyle, like not hanging out with the same friends or changing your place of residence. A new environment will minimize the chances of triggering a relapse.
Adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Research has shown that when addicts feel good about themselves, they are less likely to relapse. Engage in regular exercises like aerobics, morning run, yoga, or intense cycling activities. Exercises play a role in mood stabilization by causing a release of feel-good hormones called endorphins. Period of drug and substance abuse is characterized by self-neglect, especially of one’s health. Eating a well-balanced diet and avoiding fatty and sugary food will quickly put your health back on track.
A healthy body leads to a healthy mind. The process of recovery from addiction is difficult, and what might have worked for an individual will not work for you. The secret to sobriety is to take it one day at a time, one challenge at a time. The process of recovery starts by a personal choice and a personalized form of therapy. Ready to get started, call us today at 833-820-2922.