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Tips for Staying Substance-Free
You've finished a course of substance abuse rehabilitation, and that's great. Whether the choice to enter rehab was yours or someone had to help you get there, whether your trip was part of your health plan, or you paid out of pocket, you are the person who completed the program, or whether you went to a bigger treatment center like Narconon Rehab, or a smaller one, but now that you've returned to the real world, you're going to have to stay clean.
Fortunately, you are not alone – there are people everywhere who can help you, and simple things you can do to help yourself. Here are just a few of them:
- Aftercare is Important: Support meetings, whether they're 12-step meetings or not, are full of people who have gone through what you have, and will support your efforts to stay clean and sober. As well, by lending support to them, you will keep yourself motivated. The concept of "each one reach one" is the unwritten secret to the success of these programs, and attendance is the insurance that you will succeed.
- Self-Care is Also Important: Caring for yourself helps you avoid cravings, be sure to listen to your body, and don't let yourself stay hungry, tired, or angry. If you need to spend some quiet time, do it, but don't isolate yourself. Call a sober friend and go out to dinner or the movies. Get a massage, or go to the ball cage. Do what works for you, but pamper yourself whenever possible.
- Stay Busy: Investing time in a hobby or getting a new job are excellent motivators for remaining substance-free, and come with the added benefit of meeting new people who didn't know you "before." If you're bored, restless or lonely, call your sponsor for help, and be honest about what you need and what you fear, and let them help you learn to amuse yourself without using or drinking.
- Stick to the Plan: You spent hours working on your relapse prevention plan – preparing yourself for all the situations you might encounter, and how to avoid triggers. Now, you need to follow the plan. It's one of the most useful tools in your arsenal against relapsing, and since it's your own creation, it should suit you better than any external advice. Listen to yourself, and know that you have the strength to continue.
- Accidents Happen: Even the most diligent person can slip during their post-rehab recovery period. It's normal, and simply means that you're human. Call your sponsor for help you get back on track, and recognize that you had a moment of weakness, but remember that you are NOT a failure and you can move forward.
Finding a doctor to help you in maintaining treatment plans in mental health, such as the recent laws in Nebraska helping those who witness severe trauma, for the road to recovery is seemingly endless, and there are many potholes and pitfalls you need to avoid, but by staying busy and focused, and leaning on your sponsor and the members of your support group you can stay clean and sober.
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