We all want to flourish in life, but mental health issues and substance use disorders can get in the way of living life fully.
While it’s brave to go to rehab and get addiction treatment, the bigger fight begins when you return to a social environment that reminds you of your old habits. Living a sober life requires a long-term commitment and a support network of people who will walk the long road alongside you. To help you have success in your first year of sobriety, we’ve put together some strategies you can implement to stay sober.
Choosing the Right Treatment for You
Below are common treatment programs and stages undergone by people recovering from addiction.
Co-ed detox refers to residential programs or group therapy taking place in a mixed-gender setting. You can gain a broader perspective of how people of the other gender understand and are affected by addiction.
During the initial period of detoxing from substances, patients often experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms like seizures, vomiting, and anxiety, depending on the substance they use. The benefit of being at a treatment center is that you receive care from medical staff who can ease your discomfort.
Inpatient treatment programs are where you spend time in a residential rehabilitation facility as part of your recovery journey. These facilities are necessary in cases of people with severe addictions and where there is an immediate threat to life if one does not get help. Being away from your social environment during recovery also increases the success rate of this treatment.
After a residential stay at a treatment center or completing the detox period, recovering addicts can take an outpatient program to continue treatment while transitioning back to normal life.
Patients typically attend support groups and treatment during the day without hospitalization. This is helpful for patients, as they immediately apply what they have learned at rehab. Patients also have an active accountability system as they continue their normal life responsibilities.
They learn to be independent and to maintain sobriety on their own in the long term. The downside is that for those who use substances as coping mechanisms to deal with problems in their world, old triggers can arise, causing a relapse. There is easy and private access to substances, which causes the risk of patients returning to old habits without the treatment center being aware.
Sober Living and Therapy
Sober living involves staying in safe and sober group housing to help recovering addicts reintegrate into society after inpatient treatment or after a relapse. This method helps sustain sobriety by putting you in a community with other recoverers where you can form meaningful, sober relationships.
There is also accountability with continuous testing for drugs and alcohol. You also find academic and career support, helping you work on your future while receiving healing.
Therapy helps address the emotional aspects of addiction to encourage you to overcome trauma and negative attitudes tied to substance abuse. Therapy also helps sustain sobriety, in that you are accountable to your support group and you share how you feel with people who understand addiction.
12-Step programs are peer support groups to help people recover from substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health conditions.
The success of these programs lies in the fact that they promote total abstinence from alcohol. Recovering addicts committed to abstaining from substances are less likely to relapse, provided they keep themselves accountable.
While these programs are completely optional, you can benefit from having a set structure for how to walk your recovery journey, and you develop a strong support network. These programs are also accessible in most communities, so it’s easy to find a group that will help you stay committed to sobriety.
Staying Sober During the First Year: Additional Tips and Strategies
Your first year of sobriety is life-changing, and you may be wondering how you will navigate society and be able to keep away from things that trigger you. In addition to programs you can follow to remain accountable, there are some changes you can make to make your transition to sobriety easier.
A big cause of substance use disorders is stress, so managing stress will decrease your likelihood of a relapse. Whether you choose to spend time on self-care, get enough sleep, journal, or meditate, implementing stress-reducing activities in your life can help you resist the temptation to use drugs and alcohol again.
Focusing on others is a great way to remove the focus from the fear of relapsing. Consider volunteering at a community center, helping friends and family with tasks in their homes, or tutoring students. Helping others makes you feel good about the difference you make, and it can remind you of your worth.
Be Mindful of the Relationships You Keep
To help you heal, it is best to move away from relationships that draw you to substance abuse or negatively impact your mental health. Instead, host meals with your supportive friends and family members or schedule phone calls with loved ones who live far away. This not only helps you be surrounded by people who love you and encourage your recovery journey but rebuilds relationships that may have been fragmented by your substance abuse.
Prepare for Social Events
At some point in your recovery journey, you will be invited to social events with people who are not aware of your sobriety commitments or who do not understand why you want to be sober.
If you cannot cope with the potential pressure to take drugs or drink alcohol at parties, consider abstaining from social events until later. You might also need to prepare scripts explaining why you can’t go to the events, especially if your substance problem was tied to a desire to please people.
Newport Beach Recovery Center Can Help
Your first year of post-treatment recovery from substance use disorders should not be a lonely one. There are many programs and communities out there to join and get ongoing assistance on your recovery journey.
At Newport Beach Recovery, we offer specialized outpatient services for couples and individuals seeking to overcome alcoholism together. Visit our website today to see how our programs can help you beat addiction and achieve long-term recovery!