Staying clean after being free from drugs is a big challenge for those who have been addicted to drugs. This is even harder for those who have relapsed over and over again. However, it is not an impossible thing to do and in this article, we will give you the best tips on how you can stay clean even after you have been detoxed from drugs.
Detoxing from Drugs: the First Step
When we say a person is detoxing, it is actually a process of removing or purging drugs or alcohol with their bodies. It is generally done in a safe, controlled and specialized facility in order for the detoxing to be successful. This is the very first step that any patient needs to do in order to sustain their recovery and avoid relapsing in the future. Once the detox is done, a follow-up treatment or aftercare program is done.
Studies have shown that addiction is a complex brain disease that is as common with other diseases like diabetes, hypertension and the likes. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, relapsing to drugs or alcohol addiction is about 40-60% chances in a recovering addict. That is why it could be deadly after detox since your entire body has been reset and a sudden return to abuse can easily lead to an overdose which could kill a person in the process. In fact, overdosing is one of the most common causes of death in 2013 and about 43, 982 Americans died due to drug overdose in that year alone. However, this should not be your case and fortunately, there are plenty of ways to remain free from drugs and alcohol after you have detoxed.
Important Reminder on Detox
Keep in mind that detoxing is not “curing” your addiction. This is a program that helps people be clean and free from drugs and alcohol that have been consuming their lives. Detox helps the addict to reach a point of stability as well as help finding them a healthy psychological balance. That is why if you have undergone detoxing, it is important that you remain free from drugs and enter a group therapy, program or mental health care treatment that can help meet your individual needs in order to stay sober.
Staying Sober and Drug or Alcohol-Free After a Detox
Transitioning into normal living and being back in society after rehabilitation is the main goal of detoxing. Removing drugs and alcohol from your system is a challenge to health care professionals but the biggest challenge of all is for the patient to maintain his or her sobriety the moment they step out of the rehab facility. It is very common for a patient to be distracted and return back into their old ways as many patients have done so. Seeing your old friends, neighbors or family members could trigger certain emotions or memory that could eventually lead them to take drugs and alcohol again.
If you are someone who has gone through detox and rehab, there are a few things that you can do to avoid falling back into your old routine and be addicted all over again. Here’s what you need to do in order to take control of your life again:
- Make sure to find a good and solid support system – this means finding a support group like AA or any group that you can find around your neighborhood that helps and supports sober people. In order to avoid getting involved with drugs or alcohol again, you need to surround yourself with people who are sober like you. See if you can find or meet anyone who will help and support your best interests rather than pulling you back into drugs all over again. If you want to be successful and be completely drug/alcohol-free, seeking those people who can be your accountability partner is important.
- Change your environment – this could be as simple are throwing away any bottle of alcohol you can find within your home. It could also be your drug paraphernalia as well as other things that you use to take drugs. You don’t have to do this too, instead, you can ask a loved one to help you with this so as it doesn’t trigger anything within you that could lead to using again.
- Create goals and work towards reaching them – do you have plans for your future? Do you want to finish school or get a job? Do you want to build a home that is free from drugs and alcohol? If you have plans for your future then, by all means, set them. Make sure that these are realistic plans and can be achieved too. When you have goals, it is easier to manage your life and avoid temptations. So make sure that you have one on your list at least.
- Follow your appointments and stay in touch with your health care providers – following through an appointment or schedule a visit to your doctor or center is important. Of course, you cannot avoid the feeling of avoiding them since you “feel” that you can do things on your own. Wrong. There will come a time that you will be tempted to do this but I strongly advise you to avoid thoughts like this. Instead, make sure that you follow through your appointments so it is easier to track your progress and make use of the support that your health care professionals are providing.
- Find new things to do to replace your old one – instead of dwelling on your old habits, why not create a new one that is healthier? It could be a new hobby like gardening or painting. Think of a hobby or thing that you have always wanted to do but did not have the time to when you were addicted to drugs and alcohol and start from there. It is not only to keep you away from the temptation of using again but it is also a good and healthy way to keep you busy.
- Find time to be thankful – this may sound corny but being thankful is the only prayer you need. If you find the moment to be thankful for things – even if it’s just a little one – you will soon realize that there are so many things to be thankful for. Start writing them down and you will see that there’s more to life than just drugs and alcohol.
Additional Tips on How to Maintain Soberness
Once you feel that you are on the right track, don’t forget to do the following too:
- Get enough sleep as this will keep you well-rested and levelheaded. A well-rested mind is a peaceful mind.
- Stay busy. An idle mind is the devil’s playground they say so make sure that you have something to do to keep your mind off using drugs and alcohol again.
- Reach out to others who are in the same predicament as you. It doesn’t have to be many but if you can be a friend to someone who is going through the same thing as you do then that’s enough.
- Always seek personal, spiritual and emotional growth. People who are trying to be sober doesn’t have to be alone in their journey. In fact, there are many ways one can grow so seek out what’s best for you and you will see that you can do this.
- Be patient. Just because you are sober now it also means you can function normally right away. Keep in mind that these things take time to flourish so be patient, take one step at a time and make sure that each step is solid and firm.
Yes, being sober is a lot of hard work and no one said it’s easy. You will get tempted to use again but the good news is, there are a lot of people willing to help you if you show them that you are helping yourself and want to get the help needed. Staying clean after detox is possible because as long as you believe in yourself and try your best, it can be done. Don’t give up. Life is precious to waste it on drugs and alcohol, good luck!