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Posted by The Ohana Hawaii @ Mon Sep 27 2021

8 Strategies to Maintain Long-Term Recovery From Addiction

Completing a rehab program can be a rewarding but also nerve-wracking time. Treating addiction is an ongoing process, and once people leave rehab, they can worry about the risk of relapse. So, how can you maintain your long-term recovery?

An estimated 21.2 million people needed substance abuse treatment in a year. Whether it is an alcohol addiction or drug addiction, preventing relapse after rehab is essential. The good news is there are different ways to manage the risk of relapse and maintain long term recovery. 

1. Use Your New Skills

When treating addiction in rehab, you will receive a customized treatment plan for your recovery. It is not just to help you during your treatment for alcohol addiction or drug addiction. It is also to help ensure you get the best treatment to suit you.

After all, there are over 14.5 million people in the US with alcohol addiction. Not everyone develops an alcohol addiction for the same reasons, and people have different triggers.

So, in rehab, they will address your case, and you will receive the best treatment to prepare for long-term recovery. When you leave rehab, it is time to implement those skills. During individual and group therapy work, you receive tools, such as coping techniques, distress tolerance, and managing negative thought patterns. 

You are equipped with the tools you need for preventing relapse in the community. But you need to make sure you use them! Set daily reminders or have a space with your notes to refer to whenever you need. 

2. Establish a Healthy Routine

Rehab gives you an excellent structure for treating addiction. When you return home, you can implement a similar one to help manage the transition.

Try to go to bed at the same time each night, and eat regular meals. Also, be sure to set a time for yourself to reflect on your day and exercise. Steps like this can help maintain your mental wellbeing. 

You may also be inspired by some of the treatments from your treatment program. For example, adventure therapy may connect you with some sober activities you enjoy, such as ocean activities, gardening, and hiking. You can continue to do the activities you enjoy when you leave rehab. 

Over time you can change your routine, but a set structure helps build a good foundation for long-term recovery. It can be exciting as you find new activities and hobbies to work in your daily life. Volunteering is also a great way to find purpose and discover new interests. 

3. Avoid Unhealthy Triggers

Rehab gives you the space to recognize triggers for your alcohol or drug addiction. You will have the tools to manage emotional triggers, such as alternative healthy coping skills when you feel stressed. However, some people also have specific environments and people that can influence them.

Avoid the places and people that could lead you to risk of relapse. No matter how strong you feel, these environments can be dangerous for your addiction. Instead, focus on new connections and activities that empower you. 

4. Build Positive Relationships

Rehab can give you a new sense of community. You can continue this back home. Find relationships that offer support, respect, and comfort both ways. Do not feel guilty about ending toxic relationships, as to maintain your long-term recovery; you need to establish boundaries.  

During rehab, you will develop a discharge recovery plan, which may include support programs or groups where you can make connections.

You can also find new connections when you pursue new hobbies and activities.  During rehab, treatment can include relationship work, so you will feel ready to make new healthy friendships and connections when you leave. 

You also need to maintain the healthy relationship you have begun with yourself. Continue to prioritize your self-care and other techniques that help you feel compassionate towards yourself. 

5. Stick To Your Treatment Plan

It is essential to follow your post-discharge plan to help maintain recovery. Maybe this involves continuing therapy or prescribed medications. Even if you feel better and that you do not need to continue, stick to the plan.

Changing environments can be challenging, and you want to ensure long-term recovery success, which means trusting you have a treatment plan for a reason.

6. Understand Your Relapse Prevention Plan

You will also work through a relapse prevention plan in rehab, which you can share with loved ones. It will list warning signs of relapse and what steps to take if it happens. It is crucial, to be honest with yourself and follow your plan to start preventing relapse fast. 

If you do experience signs of relapse, do not feel shame. It can happen, but how you deal with it is what matters. Take action by following your relapse prevention plan to get back on track. 

7. Reach Out for Help

When you leave rehab, it is important to remember you are not alone! You have a whole team and new connections who believe in you. If you are struggling, being honest is the best and bravest thing you can do. 

Alcohol and drug addiction require lying. So stick to being honest with others and yourself. Long-term recovery is more likely if you attend support groups and talk about any difficulties. 

8. Celebrate Milestones

Take the time to acknowledge your hard work at preventing relapse and being in long-term recovery! Pick milestones where you recognize your achievements and the first brave step you took when you sought help. You can celebrate with the new activities that support your long-term recovery and healthy lifestyle. 

Start Your Long Term Recovery Journey

Long-term recovery is a journey, so be kind and patient with yourself. There may be challenging moments, but your new sober life will outweigh those times. And there is always support out there, so remember you are not alone. 

Preventing relapse and sustaining long term recovery requires a strong foundation. Inpatient rehab treatment can provide the specialized care you need to treat drug and alcohol addictions. Do not hesitate to contact us if you would like specialized treatment for overcoming relapse or addiction.

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