The best way to protect yourself from relapse is to avoid temptation and stressful situations. During your time in addiction rehab, your team of doctors, therapists and other health professionals taught you how to deal with cravings when they hit; you may have also learned the importance of avoiding certain situations that could set you up for relapse. But putting these lessons into practice on a daily basis is sometimes difficult. The best way to protect your sobriety is to have plenty of ways to avoid temptation.
Many situations can be tempting for recovering addicts. Office parties, family gatherings, summer cookouts and wedding receptions can all be a recipe for disaster for a recovering alcoholic. It may seem like a good idea to prove to others that you can resist the temptation to use, but avoiding these situations completely is the surest way to guard your sobriety. But, if it is impossible to avoid alcohol, then use the following steps to protect yourself:
Avoiding drug use can be easier than avoiding alcohol abuse. You know which of your friends use drugs and which ones do not, so commit to the relationships with only people who do not use drugs and let the rest go. It may seem like a harsh response to those with whom you have a relationship, but, if a relationship is built around drug use, then it is unhealthy. Surround yourself with positive people who support your recovery and end the toxic relationships to avoid temptation.
A wellness schedule that includes regular exercise, proper nutrition and quality sleep can help you avoid temptations that lead to relapse. When people struggle with drug or alcohol addiction, malnutrition is often the result of a consistently poor diet. These problems can increase stress in both the mind and body, which can make drug cravings worse. During drug treatment, patients are often required to make a daily schedule and stick to it. Drug and alcohol abuse can lead to a lifestyle that is spontaneous and void of any structure, but sticking to a healthy schedule can help you or your loved one avoid temptation and cope with cravings when they come.
Your wellness schedule should include the following elements:
Doing these simple acts each day will motivate you to adopt other healthy habits. Healthy habits are some of the best defenses against the temptation to use drugs or alcohol, so the better they are, the better your recovery can be.
As you progress in recovery, it is easy to forget that you are a reformed alcoholic or drug addict. Letting your guard down, if even for a moment, can begin a chain reaction of bad choices. On the other hand, staying vigilant throughout your recovery helps you avoid temptations that result in relapse. Remember, your recovery is a life-time commitment, so stay vigilant at all times to remain on the road to recovery.
If you or a loved one struggles with substance abuse, we are here for you. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to speak to an admissions coordinator about available treatment options.