By far the best way to get clean and sober is to enroll in a drug or alcohol rehab program. Inpatient programs, in particular, offer a nurturing environment for drug addicts to stop using substances, go through withdrawal, and start learning how to live without illicit substances. That’s only the first step, though. The work of staying clean and sober continues on after program participants get treatment in Portsmouth and return to their normal lives and it can be much harder to handle alone. Read on to find a few tips that can help.
Build a Support Network
It’s often the case that drug addicts and alcoholics push their friends and family members away by prioritizing substance use over their relationships. Now is the time to start reconnecting with positive influences, making new friends who don’t drink or use drugs, and building a solid support network. Many addicts find that having a dedicated sponsor can help, as well, by offering advice or a sympathetic ear if things get tough.
Join a Support Group
Peer support groups are great places to make positive connections during recovery. They provide a structured environment in which to address ongoing issues, gain support, share experiences, and find strength in connecting with others who are following the same difficult path. For many, peer support groups promote healing and accountability and help to replace the relief once found in using substances.
Find Meaningful Activities
It’s important to stay occupied, so addicts need to find meaningful activities that will make them feel good and promote positive behaviors. Try volunteering for a good cause, picking up a new hobby, or starting an exercise routine. Exercise releases endorphins in the brain, which can make it easier to keep cravings at bay.
All recovering addicts experience occasional cravings to drink or use drugs. Most only last 15 or 20 minutes, but they can be intense and can come up even years after getting out of rehab. It’s important to have a healthy strategy for managing cravings in place before they come up.
Some people use substitutes like chewing gum or repeating personal mantras to themselves. Others find it helpful to keep a journal. Finding positive distractions is important, but the most important thing is to recognize that the craving will pass.
Learn to Relax
Stress can make it more difficult to maintain sobriety after rehab, so find ways to relax. Everyone’s methods of relaxation are a little different. Some people like to listen to calming music, while others prefer to go for a brisk walk out in nature. Meditation, yoga, massages, or even just taking a hot bath at the end of a long day can all help to reduce stress and manage cravings.
The Bottom Line
Recovery is a lifelong journey, but for those just starting down the path toward a better life, it’s important to know that things will get better from there. Stay on track, try to relax, create positive social connections, and avoid places, activities, or people likely to elicit strong cravings to use drugs or alcohol. With enough time, effort, and help, it will eventually get easier.