If asking for help is the most important step toward sobriety, sticking with your treatment is right behind it. There are mental, physical, and social factors that must be balanced for long-term success. Different people will need different things, and you must figure out what you need, make a plan, and stay with it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
The people around you can make or break your recovery. Being surrounded by the right people, who will encourage and understand you, can make all the difference. If you are lucky enough to have family or friends who will support you, let yourself lean on them. On the other hand, if your acquaintances are all people who you know through your drug or alcohol use, or if your loved ones are creating a toxic environment, you might need to look for other support options through counseling or 12-step groups.
If you have many changes that you need to make in order to stay sober, try to only work on one of them at a time. Make a to-do list, with a small number of things to accomplish each day. These activities don’t have to be ground-breaking; doing a load of laundry or cooking a meal are positive, fruitful ways to occupy your time. If things become overwhelming, you can focus on getting through the next hour, or even the next five minutes, and once you’ve succeeded at that goal it becomes easier to move on to larger ones. In the end, you are the only one who can keep yourself sober. You can and should have a support network, a sponsor, or other people who support you during your recovery, but you must hold yourself accountable.
Look into the reasons why you used drugs or alcohol and the reasons you need to stay sober. If a relationship, job, or mental health issue drove you to use drugs, focus on changing these things for the better. Recognize the ways in which your life is better while you’re sober and why you don’t want to go back. Once you reach a milestone in your sobriety, focusing on holding on to that accomplishment and striving for more can keep you on the path to recovery. Try keeping a journal or list, or find someone to confide in about your goals and progress. Just one year of sobriety significantly cuts the risk of relapse, and those who make it to five years of sobriety have only a 15 percent chance of relapse.
Perhaps most importantly, if you’re in a treatment program, see it through to the end. Recovery prospects are better for people who choose longer treatment programs. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, staying in treatment for 90 days or more is associated with better recovery outcomes, and less than 90 days of residential and/or outpatient treatment is of limited effectiveness.
If you or a loved one need help to quit drugs or alcohol, consider Asana Recovery. We offer medical detox, along with both residential and outpatient programs, and you’ll be supervised by a highly trained staff of medical professionals, counselors, and therapists. Call us any time at (949) 438-4504.