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How to Be Sober without being a Standout
It can be hard to return to the routine of life once an addict has gotten sober without sticking out of the crowd. While it does get easier over time, many recovering addicts may find that they are treated differently by their loved ones once they are done with rehab.
They can be made to feel belittled or unstable when addicts are not treated like normal anymore. There are many ways to remain sober without becoming the dreaded standout.
Create a Routine
While an addict is in rehab, the staff and counselors create a structured daily schedule that consists of a healthy regimen of activities. These activities can consist of exercise, therapy, group therapy, fellowships, down time, and scheduled meals.
When the recovering addict comes home, it is important to keep up a schedule that is similar to keep a structured and stable lifestyle. Continue with daily exercise, go back to work or school, and so on. It can be easier if this schedule is visible, so it is highly recommended to write down the schedule and post it up on a wall or billboard.
It is also important to keep therapy appointments or sessions if it was recommended to be sure a recovering addict does not relapse.
Seek out Support
A support system can be an integral part of the recovery for addicts. According to the SAMHSA, negative prejudice, perceptions, and discrimination can contribute to the social exclusion of those who previously suffered from substance abuse.
This can be avoided if the recovering addict can form positive relationships with their loved ones to create a strong support system, according to SAMHSA. These supporters could be friends, family, or even a sponsor who can help a recovering addict with their day-to-day problems or relapses from the pressure of returning to their lives.
It is important to remain in contact with those who will support and help the individual by planning outings or visits with them. While support is important, it is just as imperative to make sure that the people in their lives are reliable and to avoid anyone who could encourage a relapse. In some cases, an individualize drug counselor may come in handy to help encourage 12-step participation.
According to the NIDA, individualized drug counseling is not limited to reducing or eliminating substance use, but also addresses the related areas where function may be impaired such as at work or family relations, and puts a focus on content and structure during the recovery program.
Set Up Milestones
It can seem overwhelming to return to life as usual and setting goals give an addict something to look forward to for motivation. Plan everyday milestones in order to reach any long-term goals to put on a calendar or billboard.
Having a long-term goal can seem daunting but if there are smaller steps along the way. It may also help to create a chart or some kind of visual progress system to mark each milestone that has been accomplished.
Returning to everyday life can be scary for recovering addicts and with the different impressions people can have, it is hard not to relapse.
However, with the proper precautions taken, an addict can mark their way to a full recovery by creating a routine, seeking out support from reliable loved ones, and setting up milestones. If you or a loved one is suffering from substance abuse and needs help, call 800-721-8114 to speak with a caring specialist that can assist you.