When you are in recovery, it can be extremely challenging to avoid falling back into old behaviors. Whether it’s alcohol or drugs, you are bound to face many temptations. The statistics concerning relapses can be discouraging. A survey by AA reveals that 75 percent of alcoholics experience a relapse during their first year of recovery. At the same time, that number drops to 7 percent for those who remain sober for five years. The early stages are always the most challenging. Let’s look at some ways you can say “no” to alcohol and drugs.
Avoid Environments Where You’re Likely to be Tempted
Addiction doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Everyone has certain places where they are likely to engage in this type of behavior. In some cases, it has to do with being around certain people. When you’re in recovery, it’s important to avoid people and places that are likely to provoke a relapse. This might mean avoiding bars or clubs or not going to parties where you know substances will be present. You are more likely to succeed if you stay away from environments that make it easy to slip back into familiar behavior.
Be Patient With Yourself
Naturally, you should do everything you can to overcome your problem. If you do have a relapse, however, don’t think of it as the end of the world. Many people relapse and still go on to overcome their problem. Never use one relapse, or even a series of them, as an excuse to stop trying. No matter how many times you fail, you should always focus on staying sober in the present moment.
Focus on a Healthy Lifestyle
Overcoming addiction is easier if you practice healthy living habits. This includes eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly and getting sufficient rest. These can all play a part in helping you recover. When your body is run down, you are more likely to be tempted by alcohol or drugs. Staying healthy is a good complement to treatment as
you develop new habits.
Don’t Try to Do it Alone
While it’s possible to overcome addiction on your own, it’s extremely difficult. The more help you have, the better your chances of success. This isn’t merely common sense, it’s supported by solid evidence. A study by Rudolph H. Moos and Bernice S. Moos found that people who sought help for alcoholism were more likely to avoid a relapse after three years than those who didn’t. It’s great if you’re fortunate enough to have friends or family members you can turn to. It’s usually more effective, however, to participate in a formal treatment plan of some kind. This provides you with the kind of ongoing and consistent support you need to succeed in the long run.
Recovering from addictions is never an easy process. It takes a great deal of strength and determination. You may have to develop new habits and perhaps break off unhealthy relationships. You have to keep your long term goal of a healthier, substance-free life in mind in order to maintain your resolve.