There are millions of people suffering worldwide from addiction. Millions have successfully and permanently avoided relapsing. The key, however, is never to stop fighting the battle in your mind because that is where it all begins. Every day people face challenges and temptations in life that can send them spiraling back into addiction after they have already worked so hard to beat it. Sometimes they will want to fight those urges, and sometimes they give in. Either way, it is important to know what to do when you get the craving or fall back into old behavior. Upon reading this, you will understand exactly how to avoid paying the heavy price that comes with relapse.
1. Celebrate Milestones
To ensure that you do not fall into the trap of relapsing into your old habits, you need to celebrate milestones. Set goals for yourself that will encourage you to stay away from alcohol. For example, reward yourself if you have been sober for a week or two. You can take yourself out to dinner or buy yourself some new clothes. Celebrating positive life events with friends and family can help you stay on track toward recovery.
2. Seek Professional Help
It is important to find residential treatment programs offered by many platforms to provide you with as much support as possible. These programs provide round-the-clock care, allowing patients to focus on overcoming their addiction without having to worry about outside distractions or temptations. Additionally, many of these programs offer comprehensive aftercare programs and counseling services to help patients maintain their sobriety for years afterward.
3. Join a Support Group
The best way to avoid relapsing into addiction is to get a support group. It is known that groups can be more beneficial than one-on-one therapy because of the peer pressure and accountability that comes with the group. There is tremendous power in a group, in which people can share their knowledge and experience. There are hundreds of support groups for people suffering from addiction.
These groups offer a way to connect with others who understand the challenges of living with an addiction and recovering from one. A good support group provides a safe environment for addicts to share their experiences about recovery and provides a place for them to ask questions. If you are looking for a support network, there are many online forums to connect with people dealing with the same challenges as you. These resources are free and come with no risk or obligation on your part. Feel free to read posts, but remember that nothing posted online is a substitution for professional help.
4. Eat a Healthy Diet
One of the best ways to avoid relapsing into addiction is to eat healthy foods, especially those rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances found in plants that help protect them from invasion by other organisms. Many vegetables are very high in antioxidants, such as broccoli, spinach, kale, and carrots. Antioxidants help fight off infections and disease, so eating a diet rich in these foods may help your body fight off the illnesses that can lead to drug cravings.
5. Learn About Your Triggers
Some events in life can trigger your addictive tendencies to use. The most common of these are stress, depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Other triggers might include a fight with a friend or family member, breakups, or any other emotional upset. These triggers can be difficult to avoid, but there are some things you can do to minimize the risk of relapse.
To help avoid triggers, you should list what they are, how they affect you, and what you can do in each situation to cope with them. For example, if you know you are going to drink when you feel lonely, try talking with friends or family before it gets out of control or thinks about ways to eliminate the loneliness. If you use it when you argue with people, plan what you will do instead of going for a walk or writing in your journal. When it comes to these situations, always remind yourself that no matter how bad things feel now, they will get better, and use these strategies to avoid the triggers that might lead to addiction.
6. Make a Journal
A journal can be used by anyone looking to avoid relapsing into addiction. The main purpose is to provide an outlet for all of your emotions, whether positive or negative, which can be especially important when you are feeling anxious or frustrated to relax, relieve any stress and help avoid relapsing into addiction. Having a place where you can freely express yourself and your feelings helps you start moving forward with life because you have taken the time to sort everything out on paper and relive those emotions rather than allow them to build up inside you.
Keeping a journal is also beneficial when you feel like sharing your story with other addicts trying to avoid a relapse into addiction.
7. Do Exercises
Exercise releases endorphins, which are neurotransmitters that make us feel good. These natural drugs of the brain can be more powerful than drugs of abuse. Exercise also helps us sleep better, which lessens stress and can make us happier and more productive. The best part is that exercise is a social activity that gets our minds off negative things and connects us with friends and family members in ways that can positively affect our lives.
One of the best ways to get started is to find an activity you enjoy and do it regularly. If you do not like working out by yourself, find an exercise buddy who will join you when you go out for a walk or a bike ride. You will have more fun, and it will be easier to stick with an exercise program if someone else is counting on you.
8. Focus on a Healthy Sleep Schedule
Staying on a consistent sleep schedule is essential to avoid developing a tolerance for sleeping pills and furthering the addiction cycle. Going without sleep for several days will leave you in such a state of mental stimulation that you will become extremely prone to relapse into addiction.
To avoid developing a tolerance for drugs, you must remain on a consistent sleep schedule, which will allow your body to maintain normal functions and decrease the likelihood of relapse.
Relapsing into addiction is a very real possibility, and it may happen sooner than you think. The best way to counter it completely is to avoid exposure to the addictive substance or activity altogether. If that is not an option, the above-discussed steps may help you resist the pull of your drug of choice. Repeat them as often as needed, and take heart in knowing that millions of people have overcome their addictions.