Addiction is a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by the inability to stop using harmful substances despite any harm it may be causing.
According to the National Institute of Health:
A survey of American adults revealed that drug use disorder is common, co-occurs with a range of mental health disorders and often goes untreated. The study, funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health, found that about 4 percent of Americans met the criteria for drug use disorder in the past year. About 10 percent have had drug use disorder at some time in their lives.” Based on these findings, more than 23 million adults in the United States have struggled with problematic drug use,” said George F. Koob, Ph.D., NIAAA director. (NIH)
Addiction is a life-long disease that requires proper treatment and must be treated daily. In addition, relapse is a common occurrence for someone in early recovery. Knowing this and learning from it will help a person become stronger in their recovery and help prevent future relapses.
What is The Key to Staying Sober?
It takes a lot more than just willpower for someone to avoid relapse and stay sober. Many people that have obtained any period of sobriety have had at least one relapse along the way. Relapsing helps us learn more strategies to identify triggers, learn to cope with stress, and manage a life of sobriety. So what is the key to staying sober?
Identify Personal Triggers – To prevent a relapse, we must know what triggers us and avoid those triggers. Some of the most common triggers can include:
Financial or job problems
Learn Warning Signs of a Relapse – Relapses will sneak up on you before you know it. You can have an emotional relapse long before you’ve even picked up an actual substance. Addictive thinking patterns, irrational thinking, seeking out and finding situations involving people who are using, or compulsive or self-defeating behaviors can all be warning signs.
PAWS – Post-acute withdrawal syndrome is psychological withdrawal symptoms that can last anywhere from 6 months to a couple of years after a person has gotten sober. Some of the symptoms can include anxiety, depression, irritability, or insomnia. These symptoms can sometimes be so severe that they keep people from being able to stay sober. Recognizing these symptoms and seeking out help from your doctor if it becomes too severe can be a big help.
Stay Away From Old Habits and Routines – You have to change your people, places, and things. Old behaviors, habits, and routines can be a huge trigger; stay away from them.
Build a Strong Support System and Healthy Relationships – You have to remove yourself from any toxic people or relationships and develop new, healthy relationships. Support groups and 12-step meetings are great places to build a strong support system.
Healthy Living – Part of being able to stay sober is taking good care of yourself. Exercise, eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and practicing self-care and relaxation techniques are important parts of this process.
Develop a Structured Schedule – Get yourself on a daily and weekly schedule. Being organized helps to cut down on stress and therefore makes it easier to stay sober.
Stay Positive and Calm – Remove yourself from any negative people or negativity period and learn to manage anger. Anger and negativity will suck the life out of a person. Staying positive and calm makes it a lot easier to stay sober.
Work with a Counselor or Therapist to Deal With Any Past Issues – Negative emotions from past mistakes or issues can eat a person alive. Talking about your past and dealing with your issues will help you to progress in your recovery.
Focus on Finances – Most people who have struggled with addiction have issues managing their money. So get a job, learn how to manage your money, and get your finances in order.
Balance Your Life – Find a healthy balance and don’t develop any new unhealthy activities or behaviors to substitute for the drug addiction. Finding new and healthy activities to do will help you to maintain a good balance.
Every day we are losing thousands of people to this disease, so celebrate your recovery. Reaching any milestones in sobriety is something to be proud of and deserves recognition.
Can You Stay Sober Without Transitional Living?
Transitional living provides a person in recovery an extended period to learn how to live a sober life. It provides relapse prevention, additional 12-steps meetings, and support groups, all with a limited structure. Transitional living homes not only help you stay sober, but they also offer many benefits to a person newly in recovery.
But, can you stay sober without transitional living? Yes, you can stay sober, but transitional living does increase the chances of a person in recovery maintaining their sobriety. In addition, transitional living has been proven to help improve work, mental health symptoms, and substance use for residents six months after treatment.
Transitional Care for Addiction And Alcoholism
If you or someone you love is looking for a premier, transitional living home, New You Sober Living would love to have you. We are a co-ed transitional living home that treats everyone with dignity and respect. Our beachfront facility will help you get on the path to leading a successful long-term recovery. At New You Sober Living, you can relax and find your inner self. Give us a call.
Our team of specialists are available around the clock to help you, and all calls are free and confidential. Let us help you on your path to a happier and healthier lifestyle free from addiction.