Each year, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health releases annual statistics and facts about drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and addiction among people aged 12 and above in the US. According to their report for 2019, 20 million people in the US were involved in substance abuse. As they have yet to release the report for the year 2020-21, the results are expected to reveal even higher numbers, given people’s mental health subjected to the many different brutalities of the COVID-19 pandemic.
There is no denying that addiction is life-altering. It can lead to devastating damages if one doesn’t consciously resort to getting help to recover and get sober. Even after that, it is not easy to start life anew once you do ward off an addiction. The person’s mental health is in a constant spiral and is challenged every step along the way. Initially, as you fight the withdrawal symptoms and conquer the cravings, you may have the right professional support to stay afloat, but what happens after in the challenging part.
Staying sober after you have successfully bid farewell to your substance abuse disorder is the actual goal. And resuming your everyday life may take years, increasing chances of relapse with every missed opportunity or failure. Therefore, it is crucial to make conscious efforts to stay sober and start your life normally, in a positive manner.
Here are some top tips to help you stay sober and to guide you through life after addiction.
1. Baby Steps
Like a child who learns to start from the beginning every time it falls while learning to walk, life after addiction is similar, if not the same. Life will throw many curve balls that your mental health may not be able to take. There would be times when you can go on no longer and many other negativities pressuring you to succumb.
However, the idea is to not give in and begin again every time something goes wrong. Habits take time to form, and just as you became yourself addicted, the same way you will be freed from it too. So rather than looking back at the failure, rejoice in every other try you get to keep going.
2. Kill the Temptation
Rehabilitation centers and professional helpers work tirelessly to kill the addiction temptations in the patient. However, it also depends on the person and how well they manage their efforts to minimize temptation.
For example, a person who drinks regularly would not be someone who shows up at the nearest bar daily. They would rather have stock at home and be self-indulgent. Sobering up after professional help would kill their habit of drinking but having stock and drinks lying around at home are a clear invitation that should be removed immediately.
3. Change Your Environment
It is important to not step back into the same toxic environment that led you to substance abuse and finds addiction as a resort in the first place. It is essential to understand that many people find solace in addiction, and their deteriorating mental health may be the significant reasons behind why they are an addict, to begin with.
A toxic home or work environment or any other failure in life becomes a major reason and an excuse for such people to resort to alcohol and drug abuse. Therefore, after sobering up, they should change their environments and surroundings. They should be given safe and secure living and working conditions and opportunities to start living positively.
4. Support System
It is absolutely crucial to have a support system to help you pass through the first 3-5 years of life after sobering up. It can be a support group like Alcoholics Anonymous, an online community group of addicts who have now sobered up and are sharing their experiences, your therapist, or even a loved one.
The idea is to talk and share your experiences to get out all that you have been thinking. Once you start sharing things with other people with similar experiences or seeking support from a loved one, you are bound to feel much better and see life in a more positive light than before.
5. New Activities
The best way to not even think about all that has happened is to stay busy and occupied in other activities. Taking up new activities and hobbies is not only a fresh start, but help you stay mindful while catering to your overall wellbeing.
Activities like running, hiking and trekking, outdoor painting, or indulging in any active sports like soccer makes it easier for you to stay fit, increase chances to step outside, and excite you. Such activities keep you so active and preoccupied that no negative thoughts find their way into your head.
Understandably, fighting addiction and life after addiction is a challenging discourse. And only the strongest people with the right strength and willpower overcome it and come out victorious on the other end.
Beat Addiction is a comprehensive medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program. If deemed medically necessary by a physician, it incorporates cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and peer-support that can be integrated into your substance abuse, alcohol abuse, or drug abuse disorder. Contact us to find a provider for your addiction assistance today!