A vast drug problem continues to take lives and ruin people’s future in the U.S. In 2011 alone, there were over 20.6 million people in the United States over the age of 12 suffered from substance addiction. Unfortunately, only a small fraction of that number seeks help and surrenders themselves to rehabilitation centers in hopes of recovering their old, healthy selves.
But there are still those who never stop striving to be the better version of themselves… those people who have suffered through drug addiction, went to rehab, and are now on their way to living a life of sobriety. To support you on your journey, we’ve rounded up some key tips for a drug-free and happy life.
It has been proven countless times how optimism and positivity has a huge impact on a person’s immune system, mental health, and emotional intelligence. The trials of big life changes can get to you, especially after being released from rehab. Adapting again to an old environment can be scary and intimidating, and knowing that temptation is just about everywhere can get the best of you.
It is important for you to surround yourself with positive people and to remain optimistic that you can be a victor of your own circumstances.
Rewire Your Brain
When you were still suffering from addiction, your brain was hard-wired to be obsessed with the euphoric effects of the drugs, and that is why you became enslaved to it. But with your rehabilitation and therapy, you should be accustomed to not having an ounce of drug in your system anymore. This requires a serious commitment on your part.
This means that when you are facing relapses, you should have cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), complete with tools and techniques that you can do yourself, in order to rewire your brain when faced with temptations. In line with this, here’s a list of things to do to distract yourself during tempting times:
- Jogging or walking in the park
- Hanging out with your friends
- Reading a book
- Visiting museums
Every day, you must do a little bit to show yourself that you don’t need drugs to live and survive.
Stay Away from Old Habits
The moment you go back to your old neighborhood, be ready for obstacles such as seeing your old drug dealer, which will happen at some point. It’s important to instill in your mind that you need to leave your old bad habits behind, so instead of bumping into him, turn around and go the other way. It is also important to remember that you should abstain from clubs and parties for a long time to ensure you won’t fall back into the arms of temptations and suffer relapses. If your only group of friends still does heavy drugs, then it is better for you to find a new set of friends with whom you can guarantee you won’t fall into that dark pit of addiction again.
Find a New Hobby
Finding a new hobby is a way of rewiring your brain by making it addicted to something healthy and productive. Whether it’s working out at the gym, where you have an opportunity to meet new friends, tapping into your creative side by painting, or reliving your childhood dreams by picking up your guitar again to write new songs, a hobby will rewire your brain to find joy in new things. New habits will keep your mind and physical body occupied, and take away the stress of thinking about drugs again.
Keep Attending Your Therapy Sessions
Following a strict schedule of weekly therapy sessions for at least 10 hours a week will help guarantee that you have guidance from a professional available. This will help you remain on the path of sobriety. This therapy usually includes psychotherapy sessions, certain exercises to improve your skill of resisting temptations, learning how to respond to relapses, and meetings with your own family members so they will know the best way to help you throughout your journey.
Be Kind to Yourself
Perhaps the best way to remain sober is to remember that you should be kind to yourself. Not a lot of people know this, and not a lot of people instill this in their minds. Being kind to oneself means resisting going down the path of addiction. It also means doing everything that you can to better yourself every day.
You have been in your darkest days and you have a lot of potential. Life may be full of ups and downs, and there are many bright possibilities. As long as you don’t quit on yourself, your journey to full sobriety shall be successful. When you want to learn more about addiction and sobriety tools, there are several organizations like Taylor Recovery that can help you with your problem.