Tips for Staying Clean After Rehabilitation

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Tips for Staying Clean After Rehabilitation

Addiction is an all-encompassing experience that produces wide-ranging effects on addicts and everyone around them. The most commonly abused substances are heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, and methamphetamine. Even after treatment relapses are common, and drug addiction may require repeated inpatient treatment stays to achieve success. Former addicts who have been successful in their struggles to remain sober cite some tips for staying clean after rehabilitation and functioning in their ongoing battle with addiction.

Staying Clean After Rehabilitation is Tough

Avoiding the people, places, and situations that the addict associated with previous drug use is a major step in overcoming their addiction. These situations are known to “trigger” cravings that can be overwhelming and can lead to relapse. Creating a new circle of supportive friends and family can help these former addicts to maintain their sobriety as they rebuild their lives.

Awareness of Relapse Causes

An honest understanding of what triggers the cravings that lead to relapse can allow former addicts to be aware of the emotional states that contribute to them.

These often include:

  • Stress
  • Negative emotions, such as anger, frustration, anxiety, and depression
  • Positive emotions, such as success or elation that can lead to celebration
  • Interpersonal conflicts
  • Use of other types of substances

The presence of certain “cues” that are associated with the use of the substance can cause a Pavlovian reaction of craving. Avoiding these triggers and staying clean after rehabilitation is a daily effort. Society is filled with people who are participating in activities that include addictive substances around almost every corner. The skills learned in rehab are invaluable when it comes to knowing how to react when confronted with a situation that is tempting.

Finding a Support Network Following Drug Addiction Treatment

The post-rehab support network is one of the critical facets of assisting addicts in dealing with situations that arise in normal life after drug addiction treatment. The network can be composed of friends, family or groups that are aware of the addict’s struggle and can support him or her through difficult times.

Create Structure in Your Life

Many addiction programs recommend that users create a daily schedule to provide structure in their lives to prevent excessive free time that can lead them to relapse. Staying busy with work, school, family activities, exercise, and hobbies can avoid being overwhelmed by cravings.

Never Believe You are Safe From Relapse

A measure of success in an addict’s treatment can become a source of complacency that can lead him or her to carelessness. They may feel it’s now okay to see old, using friends or visit places associated with their substance abuse, which can lead them to failure. Cognitive behavioral therapy can be helpful in assisting addicts to recognize the psychological and emotional processes that lull them into complacency and subsequent relapse.

If You Slip, Get Help and Start Again

Recovery is rarely a straight line from addiction to normal life. Staying clean after rehabilitation is one of the toughest things an addict can face.  If that addict hits a rough patch and has a relapse, it is critical to get help immediately to get back onto the path to sobriety. The addict can best help himself by accepting the relapse as part of the recovery process and double efforts to get sober. In this way, the addict can avoid falling further into addiction, losing the time and effort that has already been expended during drug addiction treatment toward getting sober.

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