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Finishing rehab is an incredible experience that empowers addicts to create better lives for themselves and their families. However, residential inpatient treatment is only the beginning. Relapse is the number-one concern for recovering alcoholics, and staying sober takes dedication and constant effort. If you’re an addict in recovery, there are six things you’ll need to do to avoid drinking.
1. Take Responsibility
The disease of addiction is not a choice – but that doesn’t mean you can avoid personality responsibility for your recovery. Many unfortunate alcoholics give in to despair, believing that they’re helpless to change their behaviors. You may not be able to stop cravings altogether, but you can certainly take steps to reduce them. Even if addiction isn’t your “fault,” you must do everything in your power to get better.
2. Know Your Triggers
When you go to your daily counseling sessions, you’ll learn about your triggers – the people, places, behaviors, and even objects which are most likely to cause cravings. Some triggers are obvious – bars, wild parties, and drunken friends. Others are more subtle, such as accumulated stress and physical fatigue. Once you leave your clinic, you’ll need to remain mindful of these triggers and avoid them whenever possible.
3. Use Community Support
Even when you’re still in rehab, you’ll probably start attending Twelve-Step meetings and one-on-ones with a sponsor. It’s imperative that you maintain attendance for months or years to come. Many of the people in Alcoholics Anonymous have been sober for decades, yet they still benefit from weekly meetings. Also, regular communication with an accountability partner can give you the extra support you need to avoid drinking during tough times.
4. Find a New Hobby
One of the best things you can do for your recovery is to replace drinking with a fun or productive hobby. Art and music are great for some people, while others prefer cars or sports. Working out and playing outdoors are also excellent choices because they help you stay fit and active. Physical health is just as important as mental well-being when it comes to fighting off cravings.
Community service is an incredibly rewarding experience. You can volunteer at homeless shelters, food banks, hospices, or animal clinics. Many communities also put on neighborhood cleanup and beautification projects. These activities are not only enjoyable – they provide daily purpose and fulfillment. Spirituality and religion can also provide these things, but some people find the most meaning through works of service.
6. Manage Relapse
Even if you put every effort into your recovery, relapse is still likely to happen. However, you must understand that it’s not a failure. Whether you have one drink, binge for a few days, or return to alcohol for months – you can still get back on the right track. Additional treatment at an inpatient or outpatient clinic can help you learn from your mistakes, and your Twelve-Step groups will still be there to support and encourage you.
Alcoholism is a horrible disease, but effective therapies are available. If you’re struggling with any addiction, call the number above for a free consultation regarding residential inpatient treatment. Our dedicated counselors are standing by twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week to help you get started on your recovery.