If you’ve just completed your Ibogaine treatment, congratulations! Getting help for addiction is a tremendous accomplishment and is something you should be very proud of. The next step in your journey to permanent freedom from addiction is staying focused. Relapse is very real and the days, weeks, and months after completing treatment can be a precarious time in a newly sober life.
Over a million people seek help for addiction each year by attending some type of treatment program–and over half of these people end up relapsing. In fact, the percentage of people who relapse every year is right around 80 percent, especially with traditional methods. These are frightening statistics indeed, but you don’t have to become one of them if you know the ways to avoid relapse.
The following tips will help you avoid relapse and stay strong through the recovery process. Ibogaine offers hope in a completely different way. However, no former addict is safe, but you can stay focused on long-term recovery. Relapse doesn’t have to become your reality, and here are a few simple steps to avoid it.
- Set Goals Often
The most important thing you can do is get in the habit of setting goals. A whiteboard, planner, or organizer can help you keep these goals in front of you. By keeping goals at the forefront of you mind you will have less time to think about your addictions. Goals help you move forward in a healthy way. Staying busy will do wonders for your sobriety.
- Create a Daily Schedule
Having a daily schedule is also helpful in creating a new life and avoiding relapse. Maintaining structure is a big part of staying sober and can be done by sticking to a routine schedule day in and day out. By creating a schedule it will be much easier to stay focused on creating a healthy and positive life.
- Stay Far Away from Your “Old Life”
Creating a new life means staying far away from your old life. To avoid relapse it’s important that you stay away from places, people, and other triggers associated with your addiction. Stay out of the bar you used to drink at, don’t hang out with the people you did when using, and don’t participate in any type of activity that is reminiscent of your former life. Staying as far away from your old life as possible will tremendously help in avoiding relapse. Anything that reminds you of your old life can quickly trigger the desire to use.
And if you have to leave home, leave. Do whatever you must to stay the course.
- Develop Healthier Habits
A big part of the recovery process (and an excellent way to avoid relapse) is to learn healthier habits. Taking the best care possible of yourself during this time is crucial, and if you truly desire to stay clean it’s vital that you develop habits that are conducive to living a healthy lifestyle. Become aware of your diet and eat wholesome, nourishing foods. What you eat has a direct correlation to the way you feel. If you’re not eating right, you’re going to feel it mentally and emotionally which will make it more tempting to use drugs or alcohol. Get plenty of exercise (even simply walking for 30 minutes 5 days a week is great) and make sure to make sleep a priority. The healthier you become, the easier it will be to continue to make healthy choices.
- Have a Solid Support System
In order to stay clean it is absolutely vital that you have support to see you through. Being alone and in recovery can be a very difficult and can dramatically increase your likelihood of relapse. Not only should you be attending some kind of recovery meeting or counseling (group or individual) but you should only surround yourself with the people who support your decision to stop using. Cut ties with those who don’t support your new lifestyle and don’t feel pressured to hang out with people who bring you down (even if they used to be your friends). Having a solid support network is one of the smartest things you could possibly implement into your recovery plan. Remember, it is unlikely that you will change people who are bad influences and they are much more likely to change you.
- Take it One Day at a Time
The road to recovery can seem like a pretty lonely path to walk. Taking it day by day (and even moment to moment) will help to keep you present and help you avoid looking too far into the future. If you’re having the urge to use and there’s no one around you can talk to, do your best to find something to distract yourself. Take a walk around the block, visit your local library or museum, or watch a funny movie or video. Fill your days with things to do and you’ll overcome the boredom that will surely set in from time to time. Everyone gets bored, just not everyone uses drugs or alcohol to overcome it. Do your best not to get lost in thoughts of a looming future. Develop the attitude that life is good. Take it one day at a time and you’ll find it much easier to live with your decision to stay clean and avoid relapse.
It’s likely that at some point you’re going to be tempted to use. Relapse is very, very real, and going into sobriety with this understanding can help you make the better decisions that will keep you clean. Practice positive thinking and reassure yourself often that this is the life you have chosen, it wasn’t an accident. Recognizing relapse triggers and learning to avoid them will help you in your efforts and lead you to a successful recovery and a promising new life.