Staying Sober After Detox: Taking Your Next Steps in Recovery

Addiction recovery isn’t a final destination–it’s a journey. People in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction may move through stages of recovery, beginning with detox. Detox is a great first step, but it’s important to keep going.

Staying sober after detox doesn’t just happen. You need to make lifestyle changes, find support, and take other steps to help you stay on the right track.

This guide will detail some of the steps you can take to stay sober after detox. Reach out to the team at Cobb Outpatient Detox to learn more about our programs. You can also find support during any stage of your recovery.

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Steps You Can Take to Stay Sober After Detox

Relapse prevention skills are critical after detox. Without developing the skills to stay sober and avoid relapse, you have a lower chance of long-term sobriety.

Here are some steps you can take to stay sober after detox.

1. Find support

There’s an old saying that “no man is an island.” This is especially true in addiction recovery. People who isolate or try to “tough it out” alone have less chance of long-term recovery. People need a solid support system to stay sober after detox.

After detox, you must build up your support network. Your support network might include:

  • Supportive friends and family members
  • Addiction support groups like NA or AA
  • 12-step meetings
  • Alum groups
  • Sober living communities
  • Professional mental health support specialists

Your support network may also include peers in other levels of treatment. Seeking additional addiction treatment after detox can give you a network of other people working to overcome substance abuse.

2. Identify your triggers

A trigger is any situation, place, person, or feeling that might lead to a relapse. Everyone has different relapse triggers. It’s important to learn what your triggers are and make a plan to manage them.

Common triggers include:

  • Anger
  • Boredom
  • Stress
  • Low self-esteem
  • Anxiety
  • Relationship issues
  • Certain smells, sounds, or sights
  • Specific dates, people, or locations

In the early days of your recovery, you may try avoiding as many of your triggers as possible. However, as time goes on, you will need to develop the skills to manage them without relapsing. Therapy and support groups can help with this.

3. Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the current moment without worrying about the past or future. You can develop this skill by practicing meditation or other mindfulness practices.

There are many ways to practice mindfulness. You can follow guided meditations online, practice on your own, or join a meditation class.

People who practice mindfulness may be able to resist the urge to use drugs and alcohol and may have less stress. It can help people stay sober after rehab.

4. Reduce stress

Stress is a normal part of life for most people. You may feel stressed many times throughout the day. Learning how to manage stress is critical. Some ideas on how to reduce your stress include:

  • Getting regular exercise
  • Spending time with supportive people
  • Practicing breathing exercises
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Avoiding caffeine and other stimulants
  • Participating in regular therapy sessions

Learning how to manage your stress effectively can take time, but it is crucial.

5. Learn the warning signs of relapse

Relapses rarely happen “out of the blue.” Instead, people usually experience a relapse in stages.

During the emotional stages of a relapse, people may stop using their effective coping skills. They may eat and sleep irregularly, skip appointments, and do other destructive things.

In the mental stage of a relapse, people might imagine what it would be like to use drugs or alcohol again. They may only think about the good parts of substance abuse, forgetting the harm it has caused. People may also justify why they should use substances again. They may say or think things like:

  • “I deserve to have a drink because I’ve been doing so well.”
  • “I quit once before, so I could do it again if I needed to.”
  • “I deserve to drink because I’m on vacation/it’s my birthday/it’s a hard day.”

A physical relapse may occur if people do not get the help they need. A physical relapse includes using drugs or alcohol. It also includes all the activities that lead to substance use, such as driving to the bar or calling your dealer.

There are many things you can do to stay sober after detox. If you are in the early days of your addiction recovery, don’t wait to get the help and support you need. Be proactive about your recovery. Reach out to the experts at Cobb Outpatient Detox for help.

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Learn More About Staying Sober After Detox

Living with a substance use disorder can make life more challenging. However, you can still lead a healthy, sober life. To learn more about embracing a sober life after rehab, contact the Cobb Outpatient Detox team.

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