Most people who struggle with substance abuse issues will seek out professional help in order to get their life back. This is due tot he fact that overcoming withdrawals and mental cravings is no easy task and going about it alone is often not successful. Going to a local detox center then into an inpatient treatment center is the most common and suggested path to take for those struggling. These programs will help them overcome the physical/mental withdrawals while in a safe environment. They will also teach clients how to handle cravings, minimize triggers, and how to live an overall happier and healthier life. One can go to the best rehab center in the world, but if they do not take the necessary actions once they leave the rehab center their risk of relapsing will be quite high. Staying on the right track when newly sober can be difficult, especially if one doesn’t have a good plan of action set up. These tips are for newly sober individuals who are willing to do whatever it takes to stay away from drugs and alcohol.
Find a Strong Support Group
A support group is a mix of individuals who are there to help the newly sober person stay on the right track. They can be close friends, family members, or other sober people. It isn’t rare for drug addicts and alcoholics to burn bridges while they are in active addiction, so they may not have many close friends or family left willing to help them. We suggest that these people turn to other people who are in recovery. This will not only give them someone who can relate to their struggles but will also give them the opportunity to partake in sober activities.
Go to Meetings
The most well know and well-established group for meetings is Alcoholic’s Anonymous, commonly called AA. Over the past 75+ years AA has grown to have tens of millions of members throughout the world. Meetings take place every day throughout the United States and dozens of other countries. Branches of AA have grown from the teachings of the Big Book, including Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA), and Heroin Anonymous (HA). If you or your loved one have tried AA or a branch of it before and not had success, don’t worry, there are other well known and readily available groups out there. Refuge Recovery, SMART Recovery, and Celebrate Recovery have grown in popularity over the past few decades and are now more accessible to rural areas.
These meetings and groups offer those who are newly sober a continued plan of action after completing treatment. It will help them meet other recovering individuals which will help them build a sober support group. Meetings also help people who are new to recovery continue to work on their issues while in a safe and welcoming setting. It helps add structure to their day and gives them a sober activity in which they can partake in daily or weekly.
Practice Mindfulness and Meditation
When in active addiction most people will become quite spontaneous. They often do not live in the moment and can easily become overwhelmed at any time. Being spontaneous in early recovery can be quite detrimental to one’s sobriety. A passing thought or craving can turn into an obsession which can lead to relapse. By practicing mindfulness and meditation one will be able to more easily quiet their mind and a quick craving can easily pass. They will become less reactive and have a better handle over their emotions. There are thousands of free videos on YouTube to help people learn how to meditate properly. Even if you have never done it before, there are plenty of beginners videos and audio tracks available at no cost. We suggest starting with guided meditation and then moving up from there as you become more comfortable.
Exercise and Eat right
Most people who struggle with drug or alcohol abuse issues will not think too much about their personal health. What they are putting into their body’s is barely a thought in their mind, let alone getting enough physical activity on a regular basis. Just 30 minutes of exercise 3-5 days a week has its obvious physical benefits, but it can also work wonders for one’s mental health. On top of helping one think more clearly and have more energy, it is a great sober activity to partake in. It will help them stay accountable and will give them a way to relieve stress in a natural way.
Put good in, get good out, we’re sure you’ve heard this before, it’s because it’s true. Sure burgers and fries are absolutely delicious, but eating fast food or other heavily fatty foods can put quite a damper on one’s mood and overall energy levels. Try to be mindful about what you are eating, drink plenty of water, and try to stay away from highly sugary drinks like soda. One doesn’t have to become an absolute health nut, but being conscious about eating habits is super important. A healthy diet can easily help improve overall mood and energy levels, this can help prevent triggers from occurring and will lead to a better quality of life.
Go to an IOP or Outpatient Center
It is strongly suggested that anyone who completes an inpatient rehab center and/or a detox center continues their care at an intensive outpatient program (IOP). In these programs, one will continue to work on their treatment plan which was established while in an inpatient rehab center, but they will do it while living at home or in a halfway house. IOPs typically meet three days a week for a few hours each time. They will have access to one on one therapy with a counselor or therapist and they will also partake in groups sessions.
IOP is a great secondary option for those who were unable to enter an inpatient center due to outside responsibilities that could not be placed on hold. Most IOP programs are for three to six months and will help each client progress down the road to recovery. Clients are held accountable and will have to submit urine tests on a regular basis. This helps add structure, can help one build a support group, and keeps recovery fresh in the mind of the person.
Do you have more questions?
If you or someone you care about are newly sober and have questions regarding what to do, please contact our toll-free line at any time. If you are looking to take that first step and find a detox center or rehab, we are also here to help you. Calls into our phone line are free of charge and always confidential. You will be connected to an addiction professional who will help you through this challenging time in any way that they can. Whether you just need some support, have some basic questions, or would like a referral to a rehab center near you, we can help.