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Substance abuse disorder can have a range of short-term and long-term effects on your health, brain, and behavior. Committing to sobriety can be challenging, especially when you start experiencing the physical withdrawal symptoms, but the resulting health benefits are worth the effort.
The benefits of staying sober are healthy skin, better mental clarity, lower risk of long-term illnesses, more energy, deeper sleep, and general health improvement. Others include emotional stability, improved confidence, better relationships, increased motivation, improved overall well-being, and relief from depression and anxiety. Here are tips for becoming and staying sober.
1. Go for rehabilitation
When substance abuse gets out of hand, it affects your life and the lives of those around you. Going for treatment in a rehab center offers you access to professional help to quit drug abuse and rebuild your life. A rehab facility provides a safe environment for breaking the cycle of addiction, since you get professional treatment and care whenever you experience withdrawal symptoms, reducing relapse chances.
Besides focusing on recovery, you get the opportunity to deal with any underlying problems you may have, and meet peers who are undergoing the same issues. This gives you a chance to connect with people who understand you and begin taking part in peer support groups. Consider going for a gender-responsive program such as the Men’s Rehab Program.
2. Identify your triggers
Understanding your triggers helps you prevent relapse because you can avoid people, places, and situations that trigger thoughts and cravings. Identifying the thoughts and emotions that arouse the need to use drugs also helps you find ways to distract yourself anytime you experience them. Some common triggers to look out for include job or financial problems, emotional distress, relationship issues, stress, being around other drug users, and environmental cues.
3. Recognize relapse warning signs
Your inability to recognize warning signs can cause a relapse. A relapse involves three stages which are emotional, mental, and physical. Some of the relapse warning signs are finding ways to involve yourself with people who take drugs, entertaining addictive thinking patterns, irrational thinking, and irresponsible behavior. Being able to recognize relapse warning signs helps you avoid them to stay sober.
4. Avoid old habits and routines
When you quit drugs, it’s only logical that you discontinue your old routines, avoid hanging out with the same people and around the same places to prevent relapsing. Find new hobbies, engage with others in recovery, and undertake a healthy activity during your free time. Although finding and adapting to a new way of living can be challenging, exercising patience and willingness to meet and bond with new people and try new things can help you successfully create a new routine for yourself.
5. Engage in physical activity
Engaging in regular exercise is an excellent way to maintain sobriety. If you combine training with other types of treatment, you can create a reliable routine, fill your spare time, manage mental health, and trigger high-esteem emotions, preventing a relapse. Exercising boosts your mental and physical health. When you strictly follow a regular workout routine, you increase your brain’s new nerve connections to help the brain recover from the psychological effects of substance abuse.
It also helps your mental health, especially if you’re recovering from depression or stress, which happens during an addiction. Besides helping you sleep better and improving your mood, exercising also enables you to curb cravings.
6. Properly manage your finances for staying sober
When recovering from substance use disorder, you may have challenges meeting your job responsibilities, keeping employment, and managing finances. If you have difficulties finding and maintaining employment or experiencing financial problems, you may end up relapsing. Slowly start getting your finances in order by creating a budget and sticking to it, protecting you from a relapse.
7. Foster healthy relationships
Substance abuse contributes immensely to the deterioration of many healthy relationships and the development of toxic ones. Now that you’re sober, identify the unhealthy relationships that may have contributed to your addiction and eliminate them. Focus on building new relationships with family and friends and put in the effort to nurture them. This will help you stay sober as you have a robust support system to rely upon.
8. Care for your mental health
The state of mental health can have a huge impact on your recovery process. If you don’t care for your mental health during recovery or after you get sober, a relapse can easily sneak up on you. You might want to seek treatment when caring for your mental health and substance addiction at the same time.
Becoming and staying sober isn’t easy, but it’s achievable with the proper support and knowledge. Consider using these tips to boost your addiction recovery and remain sober.