What a lot of people do not realize about drug and alcohol addiction and substance abuse crisis issues, in general, is that it is very often the time period after one has beaten addiction with the help of a rehabilitation center that one suffers the most. Most people have this false idea that beating the addiction is the hard part, but if one can make it past that point then everything will be all peaches and cream. This is not the case.
In fact, those first few months, even that first year after completing rehabilitation and beating addiction may yet be the hardest time period ever for a recovering addict. This is a difficult time for them, one that is exacerbated by many different factors. This is a tough time for one, major reason.
The greatest threat that a newly recovered individual faces is that tumultuous threat of relapse. It is this threat of relapse that scares an addict the most, and that causes them the most fear, worry, and concern overall. It is this crisis issue that they are most concerned about, and it is that looming threat of relapse that makes those first few weeks, months, or even a year or two the hardest. The threat of a relapse is a very prevalent and very present thing. Relapse happens to roughly half of those who kick addiction by going through rehabilitation.
To make matters even more concerning, people often die when they relapse. They have not had drugs in their system for a long time, and their tolerance is much lower than they remember it being. They take too much, they overdose, and they die. Something on the order of magnitude of seventy percent of all overdoses occur during a relapse, not doing regular, consistent drug use.
Tip for Avoiding Relapse and for Having a Good Recovery
There are ways to staying sober and to rising above it all when it comes to one’s new recovery. This is a difficult time for such individuals, and it always will be. Here are some ways to stay sober while in recovery:
- Focus on the goals that you made while in treatment. Sometimes, all it takes is to revisit the goals that you set for yourself while you were in treatment and to really engage yourself in them. Sometimes, it just takes a brief glimpse back at why you went to rehab in the first place, what this is really all about, what you are trying to accomplish, and how you’re going to go about accomplishing it.
- Get help from your support network. When you completed rehab, you should have put together a support network of positive thinking loved ones who had your recovery and best interests at heart. These individuals are the ones to go to when times get tough. When you are considering relapsing, or when you feel your control slipping, these are the ones to seek out for help.
- Engage in an aftercare program. If you are not already doing this then aftercare is crucial to recovery. Go to an aftercare program and get enrolled right after you complete treatment at a rehab center as this will allow you to continue to work on your recovery outside of the rehab.
- Don’t put yourself around people, places, and things that might be conducive to relapse. Stay in sober, pleasant, and aesthetic environments. Don’t let yourself get around impulses and triggers to abuse drugs and alcohol.
The path to recovery is a long one. Much longer than the few weeks or months one spends in a rehab center. Walk the path, but stay on it, and use the above tips when it gets difficult.