Lots of people think addiction can’t be a disease because it’s the person’s choice to use alcohol or drugs.
While the early stages or first few uses may have been their decision, once the brain has been affected by the substances, it is believed that the individual loses control of their behavior. This is one of the reasons why stopping is not that easy. Practice, patience, and time in large amounts are required.
Like with other diseases, such as hypertension or cancer, it is possible to have a relapse. It’s a worrisome thought, albeit quite common, especially in people who recently gained sobriety. But it’s not just the newcomers who risk a slip as it can happen to anyone. Those who want to know how to stop relapsing can consider the following tips:
1. Avoid your old haunts
In places like dance clubs, bars, and raves, drug and alcohol use is part of the culture. So, if you’re serious about staying sober, you should steer clear of these locations even if you have emotional attachments to them. Is the place on your way to school or work? Consider taking a new route to avoid being tempted to revisit any old memories while passing by.
2. Change your friends
Now that you’ve made the decision to stop your addiction, it is necessary to alter your routines and lifestyle. Finding new people to hang out with is part of that process, especially if your friends were also users. This will reduce, if not eliminate, your exposure to triggers which can be major influencers in the life of a recovering addict. A good alternative to your former social circles would be a local book club that meets at a library or bookstore where it would be practically impossible to drink or use drugs.
3. Put together a plan
Many people report that their cravings lessen as their sobriety continues. However, with the influence of technology and other external factors, there will be times when your body remembers the substances it used to have and will want more. This can lead to a slip if you don’t have a relapse prevention plan prepared. This mainly involves having a support network of your closest family members and friends who would be ready to help you in case of an emergency situation.
4. Take your medications
Roughly 5 out of 10 recovering addicts are suffering from a dual diagnosis. If you’re one of them, remember to take your meds religiously even when you’re feeling great. Depression, anxiety disorder, and other psychological conditions can trigger a relapse. Through proper medication, you can keep the symptoms of these conditions under control.
5. Remember rehabilitation
Some facilities like The Next Step in Chiang Mai have a secondary care program wherein you’re given a refresher of sorts. It’s a great solution for when the temptation to use substances is strong. You might feel reluctant to leave your new life and routine now that you’ve gained it but it can be worth taking time off work or school to return to rehab to ensure you stay on the right track.
As a recovering addict, each day of your life is a new step in the right direction. Even if you make a mistake once, you can prevent your progress from going down the drain with the help of a good relapse prevention program from The Next Step Chiang Mai. Just pick yourself back up and resist the temptation of substance abuse. Here’s to you continuing your recovery with pride and determination.
At TNS Chiang Mai, we have a dedicated team of professionals who can guide you towards complete and total addiction recovery. We also offer various recovery programs, including Sober Living, Outreach, Outpatient, Secondary Care, Aftercare, Depression and Anxiety Rehab, and Arrested Relapse Program.
What are you waiting for? Call us at +66 984965560 or email us at [email protected] so you can start your sobriety journey today.