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10 Tips To Maintain A Sober Life After Addiction Treatment

Sobriety after addiction treatment.

Completing addiction treatment and rehab is a big accomplishment! But what comes after?

During rehab, daily life is planned and structured - but jumping back into everyday life without this structure and the constant support of counselors and peers can be difficult.

Addiction treatment teaches strategies to help deal with hard situations while maintaining sobriety, and also offer after-care and followup support.

1. Make A Personal Recovery Plan

A personal recovery plan can also be called a relapse prevention plan - it’s a plan that takes everything an individual has learned throughout the six weeks of outpatient treatment and puts it down on paper into a plan of action.

Creating a personal, written recovery plan is important because it gives a detailed, structured plan to follow with good ideas to stay on track for recovery goals. It’s a chance to take control and recognize situations that might lead to relapse - with a plan of action already in place.

For example, a personal recovery plan should include:

  • 5 major triggers

  • 5 warning signs of a relapse

  • Self care hobbies

  • A support network

  • Mindfulness activities

  • Other skills and strategies that are unique to each individual that they have learned while in treatment.

Learn more about creating a personal recovery plan.

2. Nutrition For Addiction Recovery

How we eat affects so many key parts of our physical, mental and emotional health. In early recovery it is crucial to develop healthy eating habits. Eating healthy gives your body an extra boost to eliminate the negative effects substances have on your health.

During active addiction, substances can suppress your appetite and you may find that when you stop using you are hungry all the time. You may also find yourself craving sugar and caffeine. Even if you have a healthy eating regimen during active addiction, some substances - specifically alcohol - stops your body from absorbing healthy nutrients from those foods.

3. Mobile Apps For Recovery

Recovery is a process, and throughout the journey it is important to have multiple resources at the ready to help when need arises.

Whether it be searching for like-minded connections, traveling and trying to find a local meeting nearby, an inspirational message for encouragement on the rough days, or even a daily tracker to remind you how far you have come.

Utilizing apps on your phone or other device offers reinforcement, accountability, and the ability to track accomplishments and see progress.

4. Combat Boredom

In early recovery clients have reported feeling bored. When asked to elaborate they go on to share that they have nothing going on, everything to them seems mundane. Without even realizing it they have filled so much of their day with substance use. Since they have discontinued use, it seems there are hours of idle time.

Creating a schedule to keep busy in early recovery will encourage formation of new healthy lifestyle choices. Having free time is a chance to try something new.

For example:

  • Get back into an old hobby

  • Connect with supportive family and friends

  • Join a new group (fitness, church, AA)

These are just a few suggestions of activities someone can do to fill idle time. Change the mindset: this new found boredom is an opportunity. Take the time to explore and develop a new lifestyle driven by changes you truly enjoy.

Recovery is a personal journey of growth and exploration. Always remember you do not have to recover alone, filling your time with like-minded individuals can create feelings of hope and contentment.

5. Practicing Mindfulness

Mindfulness is one treatment modality that is often utilized to help people identify and manage emotions in recovery. It’s a person's ability to be truly present in the moment without allowing their mind to wonder.

Mindfulness encourages individuals to be conscious of their thoughts and feelings by developing a non judgemental self-awareness. A key component of mindfulness is not suppressing feelings, but accepting them in order to find ways to appropriately resolve unwanted emotions.

Learn more about practicing mindfulness.

6. Practicing Gratitude

Think of how you internally view negative scenarios when struggling with addiction. For example, someone making critical remarks or cutting you off in traffic is something that can easily be twisted to justify unhealthy behavior.

Practicing gratitude is more than just saying “thank you” or being internally thankful for a life free from addiction. Gratitude is something that you need to practice in every situation. Look for the good things constantly.

Even if it’s a few little things to be grateful for, focusing on them will ultimately help work against a toxic mindset. Practicing gratitude also teaches us how to love and respect ourselves, which enables us to love and respect others as well.

Learn how to practice gratitude.

7. Self Care

During the transition from substance use to recovery, it’s important to prioritize one’s own well-being. Treatment and sober support is important, but self-care is essential for an individual in recovery.

One of the most effective ways to avoid relapse triggers is to practice self-care and make yourself your top priority.

8. Overcoming Loneliness

When you start a new life in recovery it is easy to feel alone and isolated. This feeling is normal, as your old social circle is stripped away. Most who struggle with addiction find their old friends were also the friends who used - and now you are avoiding putting yourself in a situation where substances are present.

Often family members and loved ones do not understand what you are going through, and although they may be supportive, it’s hard for them to relate.

Loneliness can’t simply be treated by medications - and the tools for dealing with loneliness are ones that you have to formulate yourself. If you’re feeling lonely in recovery, here are some suggestions for overcoming loneliness.

9. Build Sober Social Support Network

Early in recovery it’s important for individuals to develop and strengthen their sober social support network.

Social support can be a group or person an individual feels they can openly communicate about personal experiences.

A desirable person would be someone who may be able to offer trustworthy advice or has relatable experiences.

10. Have A Plan For Relapse

Relapse after treatment is always possible - it can occur shortly after rehab or years into recovery. Relapse does not mean a person, or their treatment, has failed.

Plan for what to do in case of a relapse. Include people to contact like a sponsor or family member, and steps to take to get immediate help from an addiction treatment professional. The sooner someone who has relapsed gets into treatment, the more likely they are to continue their recovery.

Getting Help For Addiction

If you or somebody in your life seems to have an issue with alcohol, or is suffering from relapse after treatment, professional help may be the best option to help continue on the road to recovery. If you’re not sure if your alcohol use is a problem, why don’t we complete a confidential evaluation?

At Care Addiction Center, we offer treatment plans that address every facet of your addiction, serving individuals in Geneva, Batavia, Sycamore, St. Charles, and Kane County, with online addiction treatment available anywhere in Illinois. 

To get started on the road to recovery, or if you have questions about helping yourself or a loved one, call us today or schedule a confidential assessment online and begin treatment.


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