For many people, getting clean and sober is the easy part. Not to undermine the sheer terrors and ultimate struggles of detox—which I’ve suffered— saying clean and sober is an entirely different story. Even if you know this truth all too well, here are several methods for maintaining a sober life and prevent your chances for relapsing into drugs.
In my experience, it has been easy to dive back into the world of drug use. As a rational thinker who enjoys seeing things logically, I have a penchant for explaining my behavior. This is grounds for setting myself up for self-denial and lying to myself. A behavior that many alcoholics and addicts share. This skill is a double-edged sword, because rationalizing our usage—especially when it’s just one time “for the good ol’ days”—prepares us for a trip down memory lane… back into the whole that got us into this mess.
Addiction is a powerful monster that must be mentally controlled, and respected. Overestimating your control over that monster is a recipe for disaster. By always thinking that you have less control over addiction, you will take more necessary steps towards actually making sure you do.
- Avoid Familiar Locations
Avoiding the places, you used to get high at is easier said than done. However, staying away from these locations is crucial for remaining sober throughout the next few years. This is because, over time, our brains associate an experience with a location. If you walk by the street you know where dealers live, chances for visiting them increase instead of staying away from that street altogether.
From lowering stress levels to significantly lowering depression, exercise has almost become a popular buzzword in today’s health-conscious society. Because it’s true. Leading an active lifestyle is the number one way for prolonging your life, clearing away mental fog, and making sure your limbs and joints are well-primed and sufficiently oiled. Getting regular exercise can be as simple as dancing, brisk walking, or doing rejuvenating yard work (like creating a garden, lining cinderblocks and pouring 25-lb. bags of mulch). This is a phenomenal tool for distracting ourselves from using.
It’s a fact of life that the people we surround ourselves with, end up influencing us. When you surround yourself with happy people who tend to focus on the brighter sides of life, their optimism undoubtedly rubs off on you, and you feel happier as a result of spending time with them. These are key relationships to foster for people undergoing suboxone addiction treatment or other opioid treatment programs.
Whether you’ve successfully mastered the sobriety program or not, there is an important mindset you must remember. There is always someone who has a more traumatic history than yours. There will always be someone in the world who has relapsed into drug use, far more times than you have. And there has always been someone who has sunken deeper into the clutches of drug addiction, using harder opioids for longer periods of time, and has managed to stay clean for years after. If they can do it, so can you.
Staying sober is not an impossible Herculean task until you make it so. You do have the power to stay clean – and you do have the strength to use that power when you need to. For more information regarding staying sober, please visit designforrecovery.com