Addiction may not be a simple matter of willpower, but self-discipline is crucial for staying sober after drug rehab. Whether you’ve already completed drug treatment or have just started to consider clinical therapy, you’ll need to develop a strong will to avoid further drug use. Unexpected relapses can still occur, but dedication to the following sobriety strategies can help you stay clean.
Steering Clear of Negative People
The people with whom addicts associate have drastic impacts on their abilities to stay clean. Cutting ties with those who still use drugs is a necessity for almost everyone who completes drug rehab. Even if they’re supportive of others’ recovery efforts, their presences and active drug habits will inevitably lead addicts to relapse.
Most patients will also face a variety of compromising situations involving non-addicts. Social outings with old friends may seem benign, but they often involve heavy drinking and casual drug use. Recovering addicts need the strength of will to refuse such invitations and firmly explain their priorities to their friends and families. Peer pressure is difficult to overcome, but it is ultimately up to addicts to make the right choices for themselves.
Maintaining Proactive Sobriety
For people who have already struggled with addiction, sobriety involves much more than simply avoiding certain substances – it must be a constant, proactive effort. Some of the most important habits involve addicts’ physical health. Maintaining a balanced diet is essential, and many addicts cannot even afford to overindulge on special occasions. Studies have shown that wild blood sugar fluctuations from eating sweets can lead to massive cravings, especially for alcoholics. Regular workouts are also important for managing stress levels and staying in a positive state of mind.
Control over Thoughts
During cognitive-behavioral therapy, addicts learn that their conscious thoughts can profoundly affect their stress levels and drug cravings. When they return to society, they must practice constant self-reflection to guard against the negative thoughts and emotions which contributed to their addictions in the first place. They also need to use these mental techniques when they encounter stress in their daily lives. Addicts can’t always control the people and situations they have to deal with, but they can control their thoughts to stay positive and avoid stress-induced cravings.
Avoiding New Addictions
People who complete drug treatment are often prone to quickly developing new addictions. They may become hooked on food, alcohol, or other substances. They may also become addicted to sex, exercise, and a variety of other activities. For people who are already struggling with drug cravings, avoiding these types of addictions can be extremely difficult. However, addicts must exercise their willpower to maintain moderation in all areas of their lives. This takes a great deal of personal strength, but exercising discipline is well worth the reward of sobriety.
A Disciplined Mindset
A common theme in books in movies is that people who once lead hard lives will allow themselves to become undisciplined and “soft.” Recovering addicts certainly aren’t trying to make their lives harder than when they were still using drugs, but a similar principle applies to their recoveries. Habitually choosing difficult tasks over easy ones can help rehab patients form the discipline and self-confidence necessary for managing intense cravings. Tackling big projects can help, but small daily efforts are just as important. Limiting computer time, skipping dessert, walking instead of driving, and other acts of self-discipline can make big differences in addicts’ mindsets over time.
If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction, there is no time to waste. Drug abuse claims the lives of thousands of people every year, but you can make an incredible recovery with clinical treatment. Call the number at the top of your screen to speak with one of our dedicated representatives, and get started on a drug rehab program that will allow you to live your life on your own terms.