The overdose epidemic experienced an increase during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, deaths rose to a record high with 70,000 addiction-related deaths. The number of suspected overdoses increased by 17.59% as more people stayed home.
As addiction cases are increasing, more people are turning toward intensive outpatient programs (IOP) as well. It’s not enough to receive IOP treatment, though.
You also need to know how to maintain your recovery afterward.
The best IOP in New Hampshire can prepare you for life ahead. With the coping tools and techniques you learn, you can improve your overall life. Without a plan, however, you might struggle to transition into the real world after your treatment.
Here are eight easy tips that can help you maintain long-term sobriety. With these tips, you don’t have to feel terrified of relapse. Instead, you can focus on a happy, healthy future.
Start yourself on the right road with these tips today.
1. Follow Your Aftercare Program
While you’re completing your IOP New Hampshire treatment, talk to the counselors and professionals around you. Your counselor can work with you to help you develop a plan for maintaining your sobriety.
Make sure you understand every step of your aftercare treatment plan. Is there an area that you don’t understand? Ask questions instead of making assumptions.
As part of your aftercare plan, you might focus on:
- Maintaining a network of support (including friends, family members, and healthcare professionals)
- Practicing a healthy lifestyle (including exercise and developing new hobbies)
- Avoiding potential triggers that could cause a relapse
Does your IOP treatment offer any support programs you can use in the future? A continuing-care program can help you maintain your property. An aftercare program might include:
- Drug testing and feedback
- Medication-assisted treatment
- Individual or group therapy
- Support networks and groups
- Recovery checkups
- Employment, legal, or housing services
If your IOP New Hampshire treatment facility doesn’t offer these services, that’s okay. Ask if they can refer you to someone who does offer continuing care services.
2. Consider Vocational Training
How do you plan on supporting yourself financially? In order to maintain your independence, you’ll need a career and financial plan. Otherwise, you might fall back on old habits.
Are you unsatisfied with your current career path? Are you entering the real world unemployed? Ask your IOP Connecticut facility if they offer vocational training classes.
Vocational training is an instructional program that will help you develop skills for a specific trade or job. You’ll receive job-specific, hands-on instruction. With time and commitment, you could even earn a diploma or associate’s degree.
A few examples of vocational training programs include:
- Graphic design
- Fashion design
- Automotive repair
- Culinary arts
There are different types of vocational training available, including on-the-job and apprenticeship training.
Vocational training can also help you develop skills you can use in your daily life. It could also help you find a job you enjoy and find satisfying. You’ll develop hands-on experience and feel more confident in your abilities.
3. Lean on a Support System
About 40 to 60% of people who completed addiction treatment relapse within a year. If you feel like you’re struggling with your sobriety, lean on your support system. The people you’ve met during your IOP treatment are there to help.
After all, they’ve gone through exactly what you’re experiencing now. You can learn from their previous struggles to avoid making similar mistakes.
Keep in touch with some of the people you met in your IOP Maine program. If you ever feel stressed, tempted, or triggered, reach out. Let them know you’re having a hard time.
They can help you adjust to sober living. Their support and encouragement can give you the push you need to stay sober.
Continue building your current support system, too. For example, you can attend support group meetings like Narcotics or Alcoholics Anonymous. Both are 12-step programs designed to help you heal from your addiction.
You can speak freely at these meetings without fear of judgment. Finding someone to talk to can help you process what you’re feeling.
If you’re not ready to talk to your friends and family members about your addiction, consider an anonymous support group instead.
In the meantime, make sure to avoid the people who enabled your addiction. Avoid negative peer pressure as much as possible. Instead, focus on making healthier friendships.
4. Keep Taking Your Medications
Did your IOP treatment require you to take medications? Make sure to follow your medication protocol to the letter.
Remain organized as you continue taking your medications by writing out a schedule for yourself. You don’t want to make any mistakes with your medication protocol. Instead, use a pill box to make sure you’re sticking to the schedule.
5. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Want to know how to stay on track after IOP treatment? Focus on improving your overall life. That includes your exercise and diet routine.
Regular exercise after rehab can help:
- Stimulate endorphin production, releasing neurotransmitters that will boost your mood
- Help you get enough sleep each night
- Give you a productive distraction
- Reduce your risk of depression, stroke, cardiovascular disease, some cancers, and osteoporosis
- Reduce your stress levels
Exercising can boost your serotonin levels. Serotonin is responsible for regulating your mood. Increasing your serotonin production can help you feel happier, calmer, and more focused.
It also helps:
- Control bowel movements and function
- Regulate anxiety, happiness, and mood
- Reduce depression
- Reduce nausea
- Maintain bone health
- Stimulate sleep
- Heal wounds
Exercising can give you a productive distraction if you ever feel triggered or experience cravings. Instead of turning toward drugs or alcohol, work up a sweat! Distract yourself by working out.
Bring your support system with you! Have friends or family members try a workout class with you or go for a walk together. If you’re struggling with your sobriety, let them know.
Exercise can help increase you maintain your sobriety and ease your withdrawal symptoms.
Don’t neglect your diet, too! Keep your body fueled with the nutrients it needs.
There are actually foods that can help curb alcohol cravings. Focus on developing a diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat proteins. Season your food with cayenne pepper to boost your appetite and reduce cravings.
Cayenne can also help you deal with any withdrawal symptoms you experience.
Look for foods that are full of vitamin B, too. Alcohol consumption can drain your body of this vitamin. Try adding salmon, broccoli, and asparagus to your diet.
Craving something sweet? Use fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth while giving your body healthy antioxidants. Antioxidants can nourish your skin and reduce signs of premature aging.
A balanced exercise and diet plan can help you maintain your sobriety after IOP Maine treatment.
6. Consider Recovery Housing
More than half of all people arrested in the US, regardless of the crime, test positive for illicit drugs. Don’t put yourself in a situation that might trigger your addiction or dangerous behavior. If you’re worried about maintaining your sobriety, consider recovery housing.
Recovery housing will give you a safe, alcohol- and drug-free environment where you can start building your life again. Moving into recovery housing can help you receive the support you need as you return to the real world. You’ll have supervision and peer support to ensure your sobriety.
You might want to pair recovery housing with regular meetings to a support group.
Use recovery housing to build your support system, too. Connect with people who understand what you’re going through. They can help you find health care, employment, and social services resources as well.
7. Identify Your Triggers
Alcohol consumption caused 3 millions deaths in the span of a single year. Alcohol use was the seventh-leading risk factor for premature death that year.
What triggers encourage you to reach for a bottle of alcohol or pills? Understanding what triggers your substance abuse can help you maintain your sobriety.
Keep a list of your triggers and make an effort to avoid all of them. Your triggers might include people who once used drugs and alcohol with you. Stressful situations and challenges could trigger a relapse, too.
Avoid any place where you used to use drugs or consume alcohol. Make sure the people around you understand you want to maintain your sobriety. Otherwise, situations like parties or holidays where drinking is common could become a trigger.
Talk to the people in your daily life and make them part of your recovery. They can help you overcome these triggers.
8. Work on Your Mental Health
Some addictions are triggered by stress, anxiety, and other psychological issues. Try to work on your mental health after your IOP New Hampshire treatment.
For example, learn how to recognize and push aside negative thoughts. Instead of becoming overwhelmed, you can overcome your negativity. You can use healthy distractions, like exercising and meditation, to maintain your sobriety instead.
Consider using positive affirmations, meditation, and yoga to manage your stress and improve your mental health.
Sobriety After IOP Treatment: 8 Tips for Long-Term Success
Don’t let re-entering the real world impact your sobriety. Instead, use these tips after you complete your IOP treatment. With these tips, you can navigate the real world with confidence and ease.
Remember, you’re not alone. Surround yourself with a team of professionals who can help.
Want to discuss your treatment options with a member of our team?
Contact us today to get started.