What is the hardest part about staying sober?

There is nothing easy about recovering from a long-term addiction problem. After months or even years of abusing your substance of choice, there is a good chance a lot of damage has been done to your life. The damage might include health issues, financial issues, employment problems, or collateral damage that has been done to family and friends. While all of that might seem overwhelming when you think about it, you can always fix your problems.

If you really want to do that, the power lies within you. The first step towards recovery is admitting you are powerless over your substance of choice. If you can do that, the thought of asking for help becomes a lot easier to process. When you ask for help, you will find it somewhat easy to find top rehab facilities like ours that are willing to give that help. Once you enter rehab, you have to stay willing to do the hard work. The hard work will include dealing with your therapists with as much openness and honesty as possible. If you can do that, you have an excellent chance of learning the truth about your addiction. To get there, you will have to invest weeks in intensive individual, group, and even family therapy sessions. It’s hard work, but at the end of the day, lasting recovery can be yours. If you are like most other clients who go into recovery, your concerns will shift from getting sober to staying sober after you leave rehab. Let’s discuss that.

What is the hardest part about staying sober?

At some point after leaving treatment, you will probably ask, “what now?” You are officially sober and have to go back into the real world to test your sober wings. The problem is that while you have likely changed, the world around is probably the same. That means two things. First, there will be temptations all around you. People around you who like to drink or use drugs aren’t likely to care about your recovery. They just want their own substance-abusing buddy back as the same old person. Are you the same person? The other issue you are likely to encounter is a confrontation with your triggers.

If you did the work in rehab, you probably learned you have triggers that create within you the need to abuse your substance of choice. If you learned that, you probably also learned some new coping skills to address those triggers. The problem is there was no way of testing how you would react to your triggers while in the safety of rehab. You’ll get those answers soon enough when you leave the rehab facility. That’s it. The hardest part of staying sober is dealing with temptation and your triggers. To help you do that, there are three things you can do to help you stay the course and protect your sobriety.

1. Avoid Bad Influences

When you go home, all of the familiar drug users and dealers will test you. They no longer have a place in your life. Even if they are your family members, you have to keep your distance. You don’t ever want to be in a position where their desire to pull you back in gets tested against your desire to stay sober. If you avoid bad influences, you might not have to find out the answer.

2. Rely on Your Support Resources

While in treatment, you likely had the chance to work in groups and go through family therapy. If that’s the case, you probably picked up the support of other recovering addicts as well as family members who will be able to understand your addiction and remain by your side. Use them wisely.

3. Participate in Aftercare Programs

If you have any doubt about remaining sober, you can participate in aftercare programs. There is a lot going on in the addiction treatment community that is geared towards keeping you sober. Some good aftercare options would include:

  • Continuing on with outpatient counseling
  • Spending time living in a sober living environment
  • Taking part in 12 Step programs like AA or NA
  • Participating in alumni programs your rehab facility might be sponsoring

Before you worry about how hard it is to stay sober, you have to get sober. We are here to help you do that. If you need our help, you can reach out to one of our staff members by calling them at 732-392-7311.

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