What is sobriety?
By definition, sobriety means not being affected by a substance. However, the word is often used in the different ways in different contexts. Many 12-step programs suggest that moderation means total abstinence from drug use and never using the substance again.
How do you stay sober?
Some say the best advice for recovery newcomers on how to stay alert is a simple tip: “Don’t drink or use and go to meetings.” If this formula suits you, do it by all means.
Here are 12 step programs to stay alert
1) Define your personal triggers
A large part of relapse prevention understands the external stimuli, or the people, places, things, and situations that trigger thoughts or cravings associated with drug use, as well as internal triggers such as feelings, thoughts, or emotions associated with drug use.
Once you have identified your biggest risks, you can make a plan to prepare for or avoid them. Some common triggers may include:
- emotional disturbance
- environmental cues
- People who still use drugs or drink
- relationship problems
- Job or financial problems
2) Recognize the warning signs of a relapse
A relapse can creep up on you, usually because you don’t recognize the warning signs. Relapse begins long before ingestion of a drink or medication, and involves three phases: emotional relapse, mental relapse, and physical relapse.
Warning signs of a relapse include
- Return to addictive thought patterns
- Engaging in compulsive, self-defeating behaviors
- Research situations involving people who use alcohol and drugs
- Think less rationally, act less responsibly
- Finding yourself in a situation where drug or alcohol abuse seems like a logical escape from pain
3) Preparing for PAWS
Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) involves experiencing withdrawal symptoms that persist after a period of detoxification. These symptoms are often related to mood and may include irritability, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and trouble sleeping.
Depending on the type of dependency, PAWS can last from six months to two years after stopping drug or alcohol use.
4) Avoid old routines
It stands to reason that if you quit your drug of choice but continue to follow your same routine, being around the same people and places, and not making any changes in your circumstances, it will be a lot easier to go back to your old behaviors and habits. .
5) Building healthy relationships
Now that you’re sober, you may have discovered that some of your past relationships were not only unhealthy but downright toxic. Not only are your fellow drinkers and drug dealers, but sometimes the people closest to you can contribute to a relapse.
6) Get support
If you find it difficult to make new, real friends, try joining a support group. Spending more time with supportive loved ones and planning activities for the whole family can help you develop a healthier lifestyle and avoid situations in which you usually drink or use drugs.
7) Develop an organized schedule
A chaotic or disorganized the lifestyle can also hinder your recovery. It is important to establish a structured daily and weekly schedule and stick to it.
An organized routine will help you achieve other goals in your life, whether it’s short term like being on time for work or long term like going back to school and changing careers.
8) Practicing a healthy life
Chronically misusing drugs and/or alcohol can seriously damage your physical and emotional health, and now that you’ve recovered, you’ll want to prioritize self-care and make sure you have the fortitude to stay alert. Keys to a healthy lifestyle include:
- Set aside time for leisure and hobbies
- Eat regular and balanced meals
- Get plenty of good sleep
- Practicing relaxation strategies, such as mindfulness meditation and yoga
9) Focus on your money
People recovering from substance use disorder frequently have problems fulfilling work-related responsibilities, maintaining employment, and managing money. If you have been active in your addiction for a while, you may have developed financial problems.
10) Stay calm and calm
Many people who abuse alcohol or drugs have problems dealing with anger. Left unchecked, anger can have a negative impact on your health and your lasting sobriety.
11) Deal with past mistakes
Most people who make their way to recovery have left a lot of pain and suffering in their wake. Feeling guilt or shame about past behavior or actions during an active addiction is normal and healthy.
12) Find balance in your life
One of the common mistakes of people newly recovering from alcohol and drug abuse is to replace a new compulsive behavior with their old one.