How to Maximize Your Odds of Maintaining Substance Abuse Recovery


If you have recently completed one of our substance abuse treatment programs, you probably feel a strong sense of accomplishment.  You should.  Participating in a program at any of the qualified substance abuse rehab centers is one of the first and most important steps in claiming a future free from alcohol and drugs.  However, to assure a lasting recovery, you must stay vigilant.  Addiction recovery is more of a marathon than a race, one in which you need constantly keep the next leg of the journey in mind.  Here’s how to improve your conditioning to stay on the road to a lasting recovery.

Lead a Healthy Lifestyle

One of the most instrumental aspects of a successful recovery is supporting your healthy.  If you are mental, physically, and emotionally healthy you are better equipped to fight cravings, stick with treatment, and make positive choices.

What does a healthy lifestyle look like? You can lead a healthy lifestyle by making sure you’re following your treatment plan by participating in psychotherapy and taking medication for any comorbid psychiatric disorders.  Fight stress by engaging in relaxing activities like meditation, journaling, and yoga.  Exercise regularly.  Eat a balanced, nutritious diet.  It is also important for you to get plenty of sleep to support your body as it recovers from substance abuse.

Establish a Support Group

Having positive support network is essential to your recovery.  This is modeled by most addiction self-help groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous which operate off of a sponsor system that gives newer members the opportunity to receive support from an older member.  Similarly, you want to have people who are living healthy, drug-free lifestyles in your corner.  Family, friends and coworkers who are positive influences should stay around while you slowly weed out people who are still using or attempting to undermine your recovery.

Develop a Stable Routine

Building a schedule of healthy, positive activities can also optimize your success.  Idle time can be an open door for unhealthy choices and behaviors that jeopardize your recovery.  So, creating a structured routine can counteract this.  Fill your days with constructive activities like attending meetings, exercising, and spending time with supportive people.  Try to avoid having too much down time.

Find Your Purpose

Another important part of a lasting recovery is feeling like your life is meaningful.  Working a job that fulfills you, giving to others through volunteerism, exploring your creative abilities, and being a productive member of society can all help you gain a sense of purpose for your life.  Plus, pinpointing a purpose can also help you to feel like you are repaying society for any misdeeds committed during your darker days.  To find your purpose, explore new hobbies, take some classes, and think about what the people are doing that you most look up to.

Even after following these strategies, relapse is possible.  Still, you are more likely to bounce back faster and more effectively, if you incorporate these principles into your life.