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5 Tips to Avoid Relapse After Drug Rehab
Completing a drug addiction rehab program is a wonderful accomplishment. It is not, however, the end of your recovery experience. What you do after drug rehab is just as important—and in some ways, more so—as what you do during drug rehab. In point of fact, maintaining discipline and obtaining proper aftercare is a critical step in maintaining abstinence from drugs or other addictive substances especially during the period of adjustment right after returning home.   Because drug addiction is a chronic disease, warding off relapse and avoiding relapse triggers is a huge factor in staying clean once you return home. 

 The weeks and months immediately following rehab are the most delicate and critical times in your life. Any reputable treatment program will have resources in place to help you through this time after your treatment ends, but there are five things you should keep in mind that will help you avoid a relapse:   1.) Don't bottle up your feelings and let them build up inside of you; let them out instead. If you go to support groups as a part of your aftercare support, use them to express your emotions and feelings. This way, you'll be able to let off some steam and get help from peers who are experiencing the same thing and mentors who have been where you are.   2.) Get involved in hobbies or other activities to occupy your spare time. Take up running, play an instrument, volunteer at a retirement home, enroll in some classes at your local college or university or learn how to paint. Don't let yourself get bored! 3.) Avoid friends and acquaintances that don't support your recovery and your journey away from drugs. Surround yourself with family and friends who support you and can help you if they see you starting to slip.   4.) Avoid situations that may place you in the path of temptation. This includes physical environments as well as emotional circumstances. If you must go places or be around people who cause you to dwell on the time when you were addicted, be sure that you have an "escape plan," so that you can get out as quickly as possible.   5.) Finally, if you do slip up, don't think of it as a failure. Pick yourself up, and keep moving forward. Don't let one slip become an excuse to return to an addicted lifestyle. Rather, let it be a lesson and a reminder that you must remain vigilant, resolve yourself not to let it happen again, and contact one of your supportive friends, peers or mentors to help you through this tough time.


10 Tips to Stay Sober
 
1. GET HELP!
 
How many times have you said "I'm done, I'm never using again, I mean it this time, No more, It's not worth it" etc. etc. and when you said it u REALLY meant  it?  You’re not the only one!  We all do it; including me! Even with the best intentions I always failed. I swore up and down I was never going to use again and I really MEANT IT!  I hated who I was and the things I was doing.  Even with the most sincere desire to change I failed time after time after time.  It took me a looong time to realize it was more powerful than me. I needed help. Help is out there why not take advantage of it! Remember, IT TAKES A STRONG PERSON TO ASK FOR HELP. IT IS NOT A SIGN OF WEAKNESS!
 
2. BE SELFISH!
 
What I mean here is you have to be selfish about your recovery. Your recovery must come first before your job, your family, your kids, your pets, your hobbies,  your favorite sports team,  money, whatever.  It is a fact that whatever you put before your recovery you will lose. It's only a matter of time!  When I decided to make a change, I made recovery my number one priority!  Everything else will fall into place if you focus on that one thing just for today.
 
3. CHANGE YOUR PHONE NUMBER!
 
It sounds like a pain in the neck. Believe me, it's a relief!  This will help to cut ties with negative influences and focus on getting better.  Lose all the old numbers and start fresh.  Guard your number with your life and only give it to your necessary support group and whoever is absolutely necessary.  This is a huge step in changing PEOPLE, PLACES AND THINGS you hear about so much. This was huge for me! Especially in early recovery when I was the must vulnerable to relapse. Why not eliminate that unnecessary temptation. Try it. It works!
 
4. AVOID HIGH RISK SITUATIONS!
 
If you had a potentially fatal allergy to peanuts would you plan a trip to a peanut factory this weekend? No way! Well, we addicts have a potentially fatal allergy to drugs and alcohol.  When I got sober I stayed away from bars.  I didn’t even give myself the opportunity to make a bad decision. It was around the Fourth of July when I was getting clean so I skipped a Fourth of July barbecue where I would normally party. My brother in law was getting married around that time so I even skipped the bachelor party!  It goes along with step 2. BE SELFISH! I avoided high risk situations at all costs! Even if it meant hurting someone’s feelings.  Saving my life was more important. That's the bottom line.
 
5. STAY IN THE MOMENT!
 
Yesterday’s history, Tomorrows a mystery! Don't beat yourself up about things that happened in the past and don't think into the future. Focus on one day, even one hour at a time!  One thing that always screwed me before I even started was I would always think "never again for the rest of my life am I going to have a beer. Yeah right".  I was defeated before I even started because that seemed impossible at the time! That's ridiculous!  One day sounds much more reasonable right? As far as the past, the guilt and the shame I had from using would drive me to use again. STUPID!  Focus on doing what you have to do to stay clean Just For Today. You'll be amazed at how everything else works itself out.
 
6. STAY BUSY!
 
We all know what happens when we sit around bored and thinking too long. We use! Try to occupy as much time as possible by working, making meetings, hanging with sober friends and family, calling people who support your recovery, healthy hobbies. There are so many fun things to do sober.  I remember playing softball when I got sober. I never laughed so hard and had so much fun in my life. It sounds stupid I know. I never did anything sober. I forgot what it was like to have fun.  Get your life back and have fun with it. IT'S WORTH IT!
 
7. TAKE SUGGESTIONS!
 
I am one of the most stubborn people out there believe me.  I thought I had all the answers. It wasn't until I stopped being a know it all and listened to some suggestions from other recovering addicts that I got better.  Sometimes the simplest things can make all the difference in the world. Who better to learn from that someone who got clean! I was stupid not to listen years ago but I was going to do it my way or the highway. Let me save you some time. Doing it your way won't work! Take some advice and try to find what works for you and you'll be so happy you did.
 
8. STOP CARING WHAT PEOPLE THINK!
 
Who cares! I always would be so worried what people thought that it screwed my recovery up. I remember going to meetings and being so afraid to raise my hand and talk.  Did I sound stupid? I don't fit in here. They all got their clicks. I'm like the outcast. I call it a case of the toos. I’m too cool, they’re too young, he's too screwed up, she's too loud etc. etc. I always focused on everyone else but ME! How can you ever get better like that? Or even outside meetings. I'll look lame if I don't have a beer at the wedding. I quit drinking. What will they think if I go to rehab? WHHHOOO CAAARREES WHAT PEOPLE THINK! Do you want to live or die?  Do you want to keep suffering to look cool? STUPID! Get better. Do it for you. WHO CARES!
 
9. MAKE MEETINGS!
 
How can a bunch of drug addicts and alcoholics who have no clue who I am help me? I used to say that all the time and was unwilling for the longest time to give in to going to meetings. It's a proven system for recovery! Go to a meeting and its amazing how much better you feel when you come out. It's unbelievable and believe me I am the last person to admit this!  One of the biggest things it did for me is it kept my eyes on the prize so to speak. Hearing the stories and talking to people who have a lot of clean time made me able to remember how bad it was and how good life can be sober. I wasn't successful in recovery until I gave into going to the meetings. My suggestion would be to make 1 meeting a day especially for a while at first. You'll meet great people and learn so much about yourself and recovery.
 
 10. IF YOU MESS UP TRY AGAIN!
 
Working a program of recovery is about practice, not perfection. I by no means work the perfect program but I have been able to learn from my mistakes and try again using that new knowledge to my advantage. The reason I am able to right 10 tips on staying sober is because I have failed at each one of these and learned from them. Relapse DOES NOT have to be part of your story. Hopefully you can take these suggestions I have laid out and use them to your advantage. If you mess up TRY AGAIN! One time it will click and you will get your life back.

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