Substance abuse recovery is a long journey, and letting go of old habits is not as easy as it seems. Many people in recovery will go through at least one moment of relapse. Fortunately, there are many tips and programs available to minimize your or your loved one’s chances of relapse. When staying sober becomes overwhelming, consider going to an addiction recovery center.
These centers have various recovery programs depending on your level of need. In the meantime, here are five tips you can use to start your addiction recovery process.
1) Remind Yourself Why You Want To Change
It can help to keep a few documents that you can refer back to on difficult days to remind yourself to keep going. One of these documents could be a list of the harmful results of your addition. Brainstorm a list of negative effects such as:
- the financial toll
- addiction’s effects on your relationships
- the mental toll of addiction
- addiction’s impact on your physical health
- what you were unable to do due to addiction
Once you have a list of the things you want to change, make another list of what you hope to have after recovery. For example, maybe you’ll have more money, feel freer, or have more time to do what you love.
2) Acknowledge Your Triggers
You want to identify the things that trigger you and remove them from your life. Make a list of your external triggers such as situations, people, and places that remind you of abuse. Find ways to replace or avoid those triggers.
Internal triggers, such as feelings and thoughts, are trickier. Common ones include:
- stress or anxiety
- feelings of helplessness
- other emotions related to substance abuse
Once you find out what feelings trigger you, you can plan to cope with them differently.
3) Set Specific Goals
At the start of recovery, milestones can be a great motivator. Come up with realistic goals and timelines for limiting your drug use. Focus on shorter goals and build up to longer ones.
In addition to recovery goals, set some life goals that you can achieve at the same time. For instance, you could create a goal to get to work on time or learn a new skill. Remember to celebrate yourself when you meet your goals.
4) Prepare For Withdrawal Symptoms
The extent of withdrawal symptoms depends on the nature of your dependency. You may encounter anxiety, insomnia, irritability, and other symptoms.
Sometimes you can manage these symptoms yourself, but another option is medication-assisted treatment. If you experience these effects for a long time, seek guidance from a medical professional who can support you.
5) Build Up A Support System
You can seek support from doctors, counselors, groups, friends, and family. Research and find professionals you can trust to help you through this difficult time. An experienced therapist can provide personalized treatment and give you concrete steps to overcome addiction.
Finally, tell the people closest to you about your recovery and ask for their support. Your friends and family can provide daily encouragement and remind you of the benefits of recovery.
Get Help With Addiction Recovery
Many treatment options exist to help you get better, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. You can try medication, counseling, support groups, and more. Check out more of our addiction recovery resources for more guidance.