If you think you have a problem with drugs or alcohol, it may be time to quit. This guide lists 7 tips for staying sober on the road to recovery.
It’s estimated that around 22 million Americans are in recovery from opioid and/or other substance addictions. If you’re one of them, then you should be proud of yourself, as it’s definitely not easy to break away dependencies.
However, sobriety is an ongoing journey, and while it can be easy at times, it may be extremely challenging to stay away from alcohol and drugs. For those times, you’ll need some great tips to enable yourself to walk away from these situations.
Are you wondering about ways to stay sober? Then keep reading.
Here are 7 tips for staying sober while you’re on the road to recovery.
1. Reach Out to Someone You Trust
Whether you’ve been in recovery groups or are going it alone, there’s probably at least one person you can trust with your addiction struggles. That may be your sponsor, spouse, or best friend.
Whoever it is, don’t be afraid to reach out and admit that you’re having cravings and difficulties staying sober. These people care about you and want to help you stay on track.
Remember, we’re all human, which means we deal with weaknesses and slipups all the time. Your loved ones probably aren’t perfect either, so don’t feel ashamed if you’ve relapsed or thought heavily about using again.
If your support group is healthy and strong, then these individuals should lift you up, not bring you down.
2. Reassess Your Social Circle
Chances are, your old social circle is full of people who abuse drugs and/or alcohol. These may not be the best people to be around, especially if you’re struggling with recovery.
Not only are they bad influences, but they may encourage you to pick up your old habits again. If they do that, then you might have to question whether or not they’re really your friends or not.
This may be a good time to reassess your social circle and stop hanging out with those who are still abusing substances. If you remove yourself from situations where you might be tempted to use drugs or drink, then it’ll be a lot easier to stay on track with sobriety.
3. Find Some New Hobbies
For many who are in recovery, they find themselves with lots of free time all of a sudden. You might start going stir-crazy and get the urge to go use again.
A great idea to distract yourself is to find new hobbies.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to paint or take up jogging. Whatever it is, try your hand at some new interests to see if any stick. Once you find a new passion, you’ll willingly want to be preoccupied with that instead of whatever drug of your choice.
Another advantage of picking up new interests is you might meet new people as well, ones who aren’t abusing substances. This can really help with point #2, as you can create a more wholesome social circle.
4. Go Exercise
Exercise is also another terrific thing to take your mind off of things. Not only that, but it can help you improve your health so you lead a longer and happier life.
Exercise can also be helpful in recovery because it naturally releases endorphins, which is the “feel-good” chemical. So if you’re craving the “high” feeling you get from drugs, then exercise can be an outstanding and more wholesome alternative.
Soon, you’ll rewire your brain to love naturally-produced endorphins rather than getting high or drunk. This can drastically reduce your cravings and sobriety will be all that much easier.
5. Join a Support Group
If you’re not already in one, then you should join a support group. There are ones like AA and NA where people in recovery discuss their feelings, struggles, and other thoughts.
While support from a loved one can be great, it may not be enough at times. This is especially true if they’re never been in your shoes before and don’t completely understand addiction.
In a support group, you’ll have a safe space to express your feelings. You’ll most likely encounter others who are going through the same exact thing you are. Together, you can be each other’s support system and help one another in your darkest times.
If you’re still confused on the journey to sobriety, this article is a great read, as it has some useful tips in there as well.
6. Attend Therapy
You might think therapy’s just for people who have mental health issues, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Even those who have a happy and healthy life can stand to benefit from therapy too!
At these sessions, you can talk through your feelings. The professional can also help you figure out your triggers and any past trauma that may be hindering you from moving forward with life.
Together, you can find the best way to recovery and also use some healthy outlets when cravings do pop up.
You can also have an open conversation about any other things in your life, such as relationship conflicts or work issues. The better you can manage your everyday life, the better you can manage addiction.
7. Go to Detox and Rehab
If you haven’t already gone to detox and rehab, you might want to consider these options. They can be especially helpful in getting you clean for good.
Medical professionals will make sure you get off the substances safely and comfortably. Afterward, you’ll go through rehab to identify your issues and learn some constructive ways to avoid turning to these substances.
With these life skills, you’ll have a better chance of not relapsing.
Make Staying Sober a Priority
Staying sober may seem hard to do, but with some conscious choices, you can make it easier on yourself.
Not everything on this list will be useful for everyone, but at least it’s a good starting point. So give these a try to see what works for you so you can live the best life possible!
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