If you have attended a rehab program and successfully completed it, congratulations. Making the decision to stop using alcohol or drugs once addiction has hit is not always a walk in the park. It takes time, persistence, patience, and practice to beat addiction and begin early recovery successfully. However, completing the program doesn’t mean your nightmare is over yet. In fact, the research found that it takes months or even years for your body to get rid of the substance completely. You will also need to deal with a more severe consequence—relapse. While mental health professionals agree that relapse is a normal part of addiction recovery, it can be potentially dangerous. If the person uses much of the substance as they did before quitting, they can easily overdose as their bodies are no longer used to the high-level doses. So, how can you prevent relapse and promote smooth recovery? Here are a few ways.
Know your triggers
Anything can trigger you to go back to substance abuse. They can be internal–stress, loneliness, boredom, anxiety, anger, or low self-esteem–or they can be external—people, things, or places that remind you of your past. Being actually around drugs is the real trigger. If you still had some in your house before you left for rehab, be sure to send someone to get rid of them before you get home. If you have friends who still take drugs or alcohol, avoid them. If your home is a trigger, find somewhere else to live, even if it means leaving town.
Develop and follow through with your aftercare plan
When you complete your treatment plan, your counselor will create an aftercare plan to check on you after every few days. Most rehabs have support teams that check your progress when you leave the facility. They will help you start all over again, know your strengths and also help you avoid relapse by providing ways of dealing with triggers.
Build a positive support network
It’s quite essential to be around healthy and upbeat people for an early recovery. An excellent support network can help you during your low moments, assist with the treatment recommendation, remind you who you are, and encourage you to stay sober. Both friends and family play a key role in helping you recover faster. Your emotions can be sensitive during this period as they are no longer protected by drugs or alcohol like before. You might feel overwhelmed, depressed, lonely, and even lost, which is normal. Your family can help you overcome these feelings and help you get better.
Be proactive and positive
It’s not always easy to keep a smile after all that you went through, but you will need to occupy your body and mind with positivity to prevent relapse. If you allow negative thoughts to control you, you might end up going back to alcohol, drugs, or even something worse. Find exciting things to do like exercising, meditating, reading, watching, and keeping in touch with your loved ones. Whenever you are clouded with negative thoughts, call your therapist or counselor and explain your thoughts or feelings, they will help you build your ability to stay active and positive.