After completing drug treatment, it’s important that you are working a program and maintaining certain habits and routines to stay sober and keep recovery strong. It is just as important, however, that you avoid certain things that do not support— or may be harmful to— your recovery. Remember that recovery is a continuous process and that there will be speed bumps. There are several things that you should avoid after drug rehab to protect yourself and your sobriety.
Avoiding neighborhoods and streets where you used to buy or use drugs and people you used to use with are some of the most common pieces of advice for those who are newly recovered— and for good reason. Hanging out with the same friends at the same places you frequented in active addiction can put you in a position of unnecessary temptation and jeopardize your sobriety.
You probably know what many of your triggers are, but others may be less obvious. Pay close attention to how different situations make you feel and what memories/experiences make you want to use. It’s important that you are prepared to handle your triggers, unexpected or expected, without substances.
It may be difficult to do, but it’s important that you cut out unhealthy relationships from your life. Friends that you used to use with who are still in active addiction and unwilling to curb their behavior when they are with you are probably not the right people to keep around. Also consider people you may have engaged in other high-risk behaviors, such as drinking or unprotected sex, with. Your friends and family should respect your decision to be sober and not expose you to behaviors that put you at risk for relapse.
Not maintaining your support network
After determining who is toxic and how to best avoid them or eliminate them from your life, focus your efforts on building your sober support network. It’s important that you surround yourself with others who understand you and people who you can count on to build you up and help you through the difficulties and uncertainties of recovery. These people can include your sponsor, counselor, and trusted family members and friends who are willing to accommodate your new lifestyle.
Going to community AA or NA meetings can help expand your sober network by connecting you with people in the neighborhood who understand the nuances of addiction and early recovery. Meetings are a great place to meet like-minded people who can become friends, mentors, sponsors, and sponsees.
Believing that you can do recovery on your own
One of the biggest mistakes you can make— at any stage in recovery— is convincing yourself that you can stay sober on your own. Without support and guidance, it can be easy to lose track of your goals and objectives and stay motivated when you face difficulties or threats to your sobriety. You will encounter numerous speed bumps in recovery, so being able to deal with them, foreseen and unforeseen, is essential.
Not dedicating time to your mental health/self-care.
Mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety often co-occur with substance use disorder, and it’s important that you are not just managing your addiction but also keeping tabs on your mental health. Take time each day to take inventory of how you are feeling; spending time with yourself and making adjustments, as needed, to improve your well-being and feel good mentally and physically is essential.
At Royal Life Centers at Puget Sound, we treat dependence on alcohol, benzodiazepines, methamphetamine, opioids, and cocaine. Our medical detox and residential inpatient programs give guests the foundation they need to recover from substance use disorder. Please reach out to us at (877)-RECOVERY with any questions that you may have about our programs.