Tips for Staying Sober After Alcohol Dependency Treatment
Quitting drinking is only the first step to getting sober. Sobriety is not an overnight fix or a one-shot deal. It’s a lifestyle habit — one that’s not always easy to maintain. While temptations and triggers may still remain, there are a number of good reasons to stay sober: for one, substance abuse is linked to 47,000 deaths in Canada every year. It also costs the Canadian health care system about $8 billion every year. More importantly, a sober life can be tremendously fulfilling.
Here are some simple tips to help you stay on track after your alcohol dependency treatment plan is over.
- Find a Support Network. You’ve heard this advice before, but you may not realize how vital it truly is until after you’ve completed an alcohol detox or drug rehab program. Your old friends that you used to drink with may not be the best people to hang around anymore. Find a support group like Alcoholics Anonymous or the help of a sponsor — someone you can call whenever a craving strikes and work through your emotions.
- Exercise. Not only will focusing on your bodily health motivate you to stay clean, but exercise can also release feel-good endorphins throughout the body. You’ll feel less likely to want to drink after a long run, weightlifting session, or tennis match. Gatorade will probably sound a lot more appealing!
- Redirect Your Energy. In addition to exercise, you can find time for new hobbies and pursuits after your alcohol dependency treatment program is complete. Maybe you’ll finally find the time to start that novel, or join a volunteer program within your community. Find a meaningful way to get involved so that your mind doesn’t have the time to wander.
- Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself. If you do relapse, don’t immediately admit defeat and spiral back into a pattern of alcohol abuse. Acknowledge the situation and get the help you need to bounce back. Remove yourself from the environment or triggers that caused the relapse and learn what you can do to prevent it from happening again.
No matter how long it’s been since your alcohol dependency treatment plan, staying sober can often be a challenge. Arm yourself with the right tools to help you succeed and build a new, positive life that’s worth the battle.