Addicts need tools that they can reach for when they are feeling uneasy because they no longer have their drugs to treat their disease. They need to make a new habit of using healthy alternatives.
There are several relapse prevention techniques for substance abuse that an addict in sobriety can go to to feel good naturally. Being happy sober requires discipline. Remember, we are building a new character. We don’t want to go back to our old addict character.
First and foremost, addicts need to stay away from dangerous situations. Addicts can’t hang out with fair weather friends they used to use with. Stay away from places where drugs are easily accessible. You sit in a barber shop long enough you are going to get a hair cut.
Addicts Isolate from other people, lack motivation, and have a pessimistic outlook on life. They look at the glass half empty instead of half full.
In order for relapse prevention you need to set aside time before and after work for personal self care.
One Common mistake is when people get out of treatment they dive into work. DON’T DO IT. You need to work a program and take care of yourself no matter what. You may think to yourself, I’m low on money, I can skip my morning routine to start working earlier. DON’T!
So Why Do Addicts Use In Instead Of Healthy Alternatives?
- Once you get into a routine of using drugs it’s hard to get out of. It’s immediate relief.
- Addicts find comfort in using drugs. They don’t want to “feel.” anything unpleasant.
- Addicts want to be numb to the world around them. When addicts are angry or in fear they want to use.
- When addicts wallow in self pity, feel less than, or carry resentments, they want to use.
- Addicts don’t want to feel emotional pain, they want to check out.
Self care is vital in order to stay sober. The time and money spent on drug use needs to be transferred to positives things. What does this mean? Here are some examples of some relapse prevention techniques for substance abuse?
Be Active And Don’t Isolate
Isolating is one of the worst things and addict can do if they want to stay sober. When you isolate, you get in your head and listen to negative self talk. “Why am I home on a Friday night?” “I’m a loser” “People Suck.”
Be Involved In Group Activities:
When you are involved in a group and talk to others you are getting out of your head (a dangerous place for an addict.) Developing a network of sober friends that you can reach out to when you aren’t ok is vital in maintaining sobriety. You start to become more outgoing when you become sober and start meeting new people on a regular basis. Here are some different examples of great group activities to meet like minded people that are on the same path.
Find out what types of local activities are going on in your area.
Addicts need to develop a new character in order to be happy in sobriety. They need to change their thoughts from positive to negative. They have to do their best to live life without character defects like self pity, resentment, anger, fear. etc. The four books that have made a significant impact on my sobriety are:
- The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment – Eckhart Toole
- The Sermon on the Mount: The Key to Success in Life – Emmet Fox
- This Thing Called Life – Ernest Holmes
- Alcoholics Anonymous – Alcoholics Anonymous
- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions – Alcoholics Anonymous
Meditation is a great way to calm your mind and body. The mind is constantly in motion, thoughts come in and out. You want to be aware of the thoughts that come in and out of your mind but you don’t want to grasp on to them. Treat them like cars just passing by.
You want to do your best to remain in the present moment while meditating. I make my body feel like I’m melting in my chair after each deep breath becoming more and more relaxed. Keep your focus on your breathing. Breath in and out.
Pay close attention to different parts of your body. Focus on your feet, your legs. I know that when I start focusing on my hands I start to feel energy in them and they next thing you know, I can feel my pulse and blood rushing through them.
There are two great guided meditation apps that you can download for free. They are:
They have several guided mediations on different topics like gratitude, loving kindness, focus. They are great for beginners looking to get into meditation.
There are several more relapse prevention techniques for substance abuse. These four in particular have been key in my sobriety.
Exercise is also vital for relapse prevention especially cardio, I just haven’t worked it in to my routine yet but I need too. What’s most important to me right now is making sure that my mind is right.
Remember, surrender the old you and embrace the new you. Get your mind right first thing in the morning with spiritual reading and meditation. You make a habit of that and you’ll have more inner peace and serenity.