Anyone who is addicted to alcohol or drugs must participate in a detoxification and rehabilitation program to overcome their addiction. After completing long-term treatment, you must work hard for the rest of your life to maintain sobriety. Fortunately, experts recommend several strategies to maintain sobriety for a lifetime to avoid a dangerous relapse. There are numerous techniques to help prevent relapse, and most recovering addicts use several different sobriety “tools” to maintain their sobriety.
One: Join a 12-step program
12-step programs like Alcoholic’s Anonymous have been helping people to stay clean and sober since 1935. The only requirement for AA membership is the desire to stop drinking. Narcotics Anonymous is another popular 12-step program with an emphasis on drug addiction specifically. 12-step programs offer a way of staying clean and sober, while cleaning-up the wreckage of one’s past “using” life. Members attend meetings, get sponsorship, involve themselves in fellowship and follow the 12-steps. The steps are essentially a road map for letting go and finding a “Higher Power” of each individual’s own personal understanding. Members also complete a “personal inventory” and look at their own character defects. They make amends for the ways they may have wronged others during their drinking or using days. Many people find that the 12-step approach to a lifetime of drug and/or alcohol-free living resonates with them. Contact your local AA or NA central office for more information.
Two: Participate in an Aftercare Program
Adrug or alcohol detoxification program may last for several days before you enter a rehabilitation facility. The theory is that one must get the drugs our alcohol completely out of one’s system before real long-term recovery can begin. Rehabilitation programs are supervised by counselors who monitor behavior, provide counseling and a myriad of different treatment modalities. In addition, treatment facilities perform regular and periodic drug or alcohol testing to confirm that oneis not using again. An individual in treatmentis usually required to attend daily counseling sessions in an effort to learn new ways of coping with stress and to avoid a relapse. After the program ends, it is a good idea to stay in a residential sober living environment or enroll in an IOP (Intensive Outpatient treatment Program. Outpatient treatment programs and sober living homes offer a transitional period to adjust to the outside world with its various trials, tribulations and temptations.
Three: Move to a New Neighborhood
A more to a new geographical location in an effort to get or remain clean and sober is often referred to as a “geographic.” If you believe that an old neighborhood has dangerous temptations that can lead to a relapse, a move to a new location may provide some defense against the first drink or drug. Some of the temptations that addicts want to avoid are old friends who drink excessively or use illegal drugs. You might feel tempted to drink alcohol or get high again if there are places such as bars in your neighborhood. No matter whether it is coworkers, relatives or classmates who want you to get high, making the decision to more to a new location, at least in the short-term, may help to prevent relapse.
Four: Have a Daily Schedule of Activities
Many alcoholics or drug addicts are so immersed in their habit that they do not participate in activities such as hobbies or sports. All of their time is consumed by getting enough money to pay for drugs or alcohol. After completing rehabilitation, you should have a daily schedule of activities that include work, school or pursuing healthy socializing rather than going to bars or drug houses.