After rehabilitation: Here are some tools

Seeking help for alcohol or drug dependency at a residential recovery unit is the first step toward beating addiction and regaining control of your life. And recovering people can use the tools they learned in rehab to begin the intense challenge of avoiding relapse.

Patients can continue to use this support system after leaving the recovery unit to learn how to deal with daily stresses without drugs or alcohol.

Below are some tips on how to continue with treatment and avoid relapse after leaving a recovery unit.

Maintain stability

If you're recovering from addiction, keep your life and routine as stable as possible. You shouldn't make significant life changes when you return home from a recovery unit.

It is also best to avoid places and social gatherings associated with your past drinking or drug use that can serve as triggers to relapse.

Seek support

Join a support group—Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous—that fits your needs.

You can get information on these support groups, which are widely accessible throughout the country, from your treatment center, the Internet or your local library. Studies have shown that people who avoid relapse and continue with recovery attend support meetings regularly. You should also consider seeking a sponsor, preferably someone who understands the recovery process and is a member of a 12-step program. A sponsor serves as a mentor and coach while providing free emotional support.

Take timeouts

Consider introducing meditation into your daily routine. Meditation is one of the 12 steps in the alcohol recovery program of AA.

Through these forms of meditation, you can engage in self-inventory and self-assessment. These periods assist you in checking your needs and learning not to misinterpret feelings of loneliness, anger or even hunger as an urge to drink or use drugs. 

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