Addiction, also known as substance use disorder (SUD), is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a chronic, relapsing brain disorder. It is characterized by compulsively engaging in rewarding stimuli despite adverse consequences. Substance use disorder does not develop overnight, nor should an individual expect his or her recovery from addiction to occur instantaneously. Every person is different and will rely on distinct and personal tools to successfully maintain sobriety, but below are ten tips to help keep you on your path:
- Get enough sleep: go to bed at a decent time. This may sound super basic, but your body and mind need to rest. Cultivating healthy sleep habits can help you stay mentally, physically, and emotionally fit.
- Prioritize eating right: Food is not only meant for sustenance. It is a fantastic way to energize yourself and nourish your body. Taking the time to eat healthy foods helps to fuel not only your body but also your mind. Eat balanced and nutritious meals, stay properly hydrated, and try new foods.
- Exercise: Finding healthy pass times is essential to maintaining sobriety. Integrating regular exercise into your daily or weekly routine can help you stay fit, release endorphins (which can elevate your overall mood) and increase your endurance levels.
- Meditate: Taking a short break during the day to get still and let the chaos of the outside world fall away can be soothing. Engaging in daily meditation practice has proven to have many health benefits for an individual in recovery.
- Get Fresh Air: Nature has the propensity to heal. Hugging a tree can feel energizing, swimming in a natural body of water can be an emotional release, and witnessing the wonders of wildlife in nature can be humbling. Give yourself the opportunity to bask in the sun and soak in a little extra vitamin D.
- Surround yourself with healthy people: Part of recovery from substance abuse and/ or addiction is to work towards living a healthy lifestyle. Being around other healthy people in recovery can be encouraging and motivating to one’s own recovery process. It also creates a great network of like-minded individuals who share the common goal of sobriety.
- Avoid Triggers: One of the great aspects of substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment programs is that they help to illuminate possible triggers surrounding your drug use. While there are certain triggers that may be unavoidable, it is important to try and avoid the ones that are. Maintaining sobriety can be challenging, and there is no reason to add unnecessary temptations to your plate.
- Stick to a routine: Part of any substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment program will be adhering to a strict schedule. Carrying a version of this over into your life post-treatment can be very beneficial to your continued sobriety.
- Follow And Update Your Aftercare Plan: Aftercare plans are thoughtful, personalized plans that are created to help you maintain sobriety. While aftercare plans are often fresh in one’s mind immediately after completing a treatment program, it is not uncommon for them to fall by the wayside as time progresses. Some aspects of a person’s aftercare plan may become outdated as time passes, which is why it is imperative to continually update your aftercare plan with the help of your mental health professional.
- Ask for help: If you are feeling overly emotional, uncomfortable, are contemplating drug or alcohol use, or simply want to talk to someone, ask for help. You have an entire network of people that you have created that are there to help support you through your recovery. Allow them to be of service to you by giving them the opportunity to support you in a time of need.
The very definition of addiction includes the possibility of relapse, which is defined by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) “as the recurrence of behavioral or other substantive indicators of active disease after a period of remission.” According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 40% to 60% of people relapse after drug treatment. To set yourself up for success in all areas of your life when it comes to your substance abuse and/ or addiction recovery it is important to make sure to take the proper precautions to reduce your chances of relapse. The more strategies you learn to identify triggers, cope with stress, and manage your new sober life, the easier it is to prevent relapse.
For Information and Support
If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long-lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment-related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-318-3777. You are also welcome to contact anytime us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.