Becoming Sober: 7 Key Tips for Successful Addiction Recovery

Updated on July 2, 2020

More than 20 million Americans suffer from addiction.

Having an addiction can be a serious problem to overcome. About 40 to 60 percent of people go to rehab for addiction relapse at some point in their recovery.

Are you looking at rehab or concerned about a loved one?

Addiction recovery won’t be easy — but it will be worth it. Check out these key tips for successful addiction recovery and becoming sober.

1. Treat the Whole Person

The rehabilitation facility will help you get through the withdrawal symptoms and give you steps to begin your recovery. Withdrawal can be extremely difficult and you may need the medical assistance to help you feel as comfortable as possible.

After you get through your detox, you need to focus on the person and the reason for this addiction. You will find the best steps to help you learn to cope differently and manage any triggers.

Do you have an underlying problem that caused your addiction? Life stresses and addiction tend to go together. Triggers of addiction include trauma, lack of social skills, little education, poverty, and issues parenting.

If you face any of these problems or other life stressors, your chance for relapse could be higher.

Focus on getting sober and don’t overwhelm yourself. For example, many people smoke while going through rehab trying to get sober. But rehab centers may not allow smoking. Being suddenly pushed into nicotine withdrawal cold turkey can add to the already substantial stressors. Electronic cigarettes may bridge the gap through the sobriety process. Check with your provider to explore your options. The point is that the number one goal must be to get sober and to minimize any outside stressors that could compromise progress toward the main goal.

It’s important that you treat your whole self, and not just the physical addiction. You may want to consider additional resources to help your addiction and help you heal entirely.

Make sure you also stay in treatment. Even if you feel like you don’t need it, your body may think otherwise. It’s crucial to learn more about different programs in your area to treat your addiction.

2. Set Realistic Goals

Give yourself a few small, easy steps to start out. Make sure you can easily accomplish these goals. Take time each day to think about why you are making this change and plan your week accordingly.

Write down what you are doing to reach your goals. Then, evaluate how you are doing. If you have any problems, troubleshoot ways to solve them.

Don’t feel like you can revise your plan as you go. Do not overwhelm yourself with too many goals at once. You can set simple goals like “apply for three jobs,” “write your feelings in a journal each day,” or “exercise three times a week.”

Be sure you are preparing yourself for a marathon and not a sprint. You need to be patient with yourself and know it could take some time to recover.

3. Determine Family Expectations

Along with setting your personal goals, it’s important to talk to your family and friends and find out what they expect you to do. You want to establish what they need from you.

If you have been using drugs or drinking for a long time, you may not know how to function as a family member. This is why it’s important to establish your role and find out what your family expects. 

You want to make sure your family also treats you the way you need them to. Family support is vital to recovery. 

Let your family know what they can do to support you, whether it’s attending meetings with you, helping you get financially set, or even just hanging out and giving you needed companionship and love.

4. Find New Hobbies and Activities

Your life may have been about getting high or drinking in the past. Now it’s time to find something to look forward to with your time. Find a new or old hobby that is engaging and enjoyable.

You can pursue educational opportunities, volunteer, further your career, or start exercising, to name a few. Find anything that helps you get your life going on the right path.

Exercising is a great way to improve your energy and well-being. You can also gain self-confidence. You can find others that are dedicated to healthy lifestyles to help support and encourage you in your new life. 

5. Take Advantage of Support Groups

A support group can be very beneficial to addicts because it gives you a resource to help you learn to deal with pressures in life. You can also find recovery tools and get fellowship with others who have been there.

You can learn about ways they coped with a craving or learned to manage a trigger. You will learn some key maintenance tips to help you stay on the right path. Support groups give you accountability to stay on the course to a healthier life.

You will have others that will want to check on you and see how you are doing. You can be a part of a team and also help others continue their recovery, which can help you also feel good about yourself.

6. Remove Temptations

It’s probably best to make new friends and stay away from old ones that may fuel your addiction. No matter how much a troublesome friend tells you that he or she will support your sobriety, it doesn’t mean it will happen.

If someone is going down the wrong road, don’t let them take you with them. You want to find friends that do not spend their time getting drunk or high because you will face cravings at some point.

Avoid old hangout spots that might entice you to drink or do drugs. Even if you are sentimental, your sobriety and health are not worth the risk. Find some new friends that encourage and live a healthy lifestyle to stay the course.

7. Celebrate Small Achievements

Be sure you celebrate an achievement, even if it seems small. It’s important to take a step back and appreciate all your hard work. It’s not easy to recover from addiction. 

Remain focused on the reasons you made this change. Motivation is the key to recovery. Write down why you do what you do in your daily reflection.

Find a way to celebrate that makes you feel good, whether it’s going to your favorite restaurant, getting ice cream, or buying a new shirt. Feeling good about all your little successes will keep you motivated and moving forward.

Becoming Sober Once and for All

Becoming sober is possible with the right tools and support. Give yourself time and patience, and be sure to set realistic goals. Take advantage of all the support available, from groups to family to new hobbies.

Looking for other information on improving your health?

Keep scrolling our site for the latest medical news to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle after becoming sober.

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