Unfortunately relapse is a very real risk for many people after they complete a treatment program, but it doesn’t have to be. Some are very confident yet not realistic about the influences and situations they will encounter after they leave, while others are on the opposite end of the spectrum and don’t have enough confidence in themselves or their ability to make good choices and maintain their sobriety.
Here are a few common sense tips that anyone can apply to themselves to help them stay sober and prevent relapse. Working with a case manager, each individual should have a plan of action on their continuum of care and support network following treatment that is specific to themselves and their situations in life.
One of the most obvious or common things to do is to attend 12 step meetings following treatment. Some people prefer something different, so they may find other types of support groups to participate in as an alternative.
Another important area is employment. Working full-time (or part-time if there are other responsibilities such as school, kids, etc.) is not only a great way to spend a lot of your time, but it helps to build self esteem by accomplishing goals and getting rewarded for it with money. Being able to provide for oneself and, if applicable, the whole family, also generates a sense of pride.
It is a great idea to become active in some other types of sober activities, such as being involved in church, volunteer programs, sports, yoga, meditation, civic groups or even to start some hobbies.
There are plenty of other things as well, such as continuing outpatient counseling, working with your doctor to either be on the right medication or toward getting off medications, exercising, eating well, sleeping well and generally taking care of yourself.
The whole point is to help build your life so that you are surrounded by support and positive influences. While it is never possible to completely eliminate stressful situations or negative encounters in life, it is definitely possible to keep yourself proofed up so that you can go on living happily and healthily.