You have been on a long journey.
You got hooked on drugs, went through many life-changing experiences, lost just about everything and finally decided to get clean. You did a residential program and you vowed to your family, friends, counsellor and most importantly, to yourself, to stay sober. You have been released from the residential program.
How do you keep the promise to stay sober after drug addiction?
1. Get in and stay in a support group. These are people just like you who have been where you have been and are where you are now, dealing with the urges and fight within yourself to stay sober on a daily basis. No one else can quite get how you feel or where you are except someone who has walked in your same shoes.
2. Staying sober involves not only you but those around you. Just as others do, addicts in recovery face every day life stresses. In their cases, however, they also have to fight the urge to give in one more time, just to forget what is going on. The key to handling this is honesty. This is not a scary thing as you have already been honest with your family by stepping up and getting into treatment. Letting them know that you fight urges is not embarrassing. You have already demonstrated your honesty by getting clean to begin with.
3. Do not give in to temptation. The easiest way to avoid temptation is by staying away from areas and people that are addicted. If you are an alcoholic, stay away from bars. If you are recovering from another substance abuse problem, stay away from the friends you “partied” with. If they are still doing drugs, it is not in your best interests to run around with them. You do not need to feel bad about this. It involves self-discipline and has everything to do with maintaining a successful recovery.
4. Your allegiance must be to yourself and to your family. Hanging out with friends who are still on drugs is not good for you. This is when a lot of people in recovery begin to make new friends and why having a support group is so important.
5. Staying sober is a daily task. As long as you understand this, you can do it successfully. As long as you realize what being sober means and what it is worth, you can take the steps necessary to stay sober each and every day. Support groups meet at different times during the day for just this reason. If you feel an urge, show up at one of the groups. Your friends there will not let you down. They know where you are coming from.