5 Tips To Stay Clean And Sober
Those who have struggled in the throes of addiction understand that the road to recovery isn't always easy to walk. As a matter of fact, staying clean and sober can be one of the most challenging aspects of your life after you've succumbed to a particular drug for years on end. Nevertheless, staying clean and sober is very achievable with the right advice, and you should never underestimate your ability to turn a corner and improve your overall health.
Don't think you have to walk the road to recovery alone. Here are 5 tips to stay clean and sober, and why it's important to understand that your past addictions don't have to define your future.
1. Learn to identify high-risk situations
Perhaps the most important tip for staying clean and sober is learning how to identify high-risk situations, or scenarios wherein it's very likely you'll be exposed to the drug you're trying to permanently kick out of your life. If you're a recovering alcoholic, an obvious example of a high-risk situation is a friend inviting you out to a bar; you'll be surrounded by alcoholic drinks, the familiar smell of the substance, and others imbibing it, all of which render you more likely to relapse and start drinking again.
If you're serious about staying clean and sober, you need to learn to identify the scenarios in your life wherein you'll be exposed to the risk of succumbing once again to your addiction. Sometimes, this means identifying individuals in your life who are a bad influence and ensuring you don't hang out with them anymore. This is seldom enjoyable and can cause social strife, but you need to understand that others who would enable your addiction and push you back towards the darkest period in your life aren't worthy of being your friends. Avoid hanging out with those who can only have fun with the help of drugs, and instead surround yourself with supportive friends who will keep you away from high-risk situations.
2. Understand how your brain works
Addiction is famously noted to "hijack the human brain," which doesn't merely sound sinister but is something worth considering from a medical standpoint as you try to remain clean and sober. Often, you'll find that staying clean is a matter of mental awareness and fortitude, as only through control over your emotions and mental state can you sincerely avoid succumbing to past addictions.
As Harvard Health Publishing illustrates, addiction hijacks your brain in harmful ways that are worth studying. By taking over the brain's reward center, for instance, addiction can lead you to mistakenly believe that the only way to feel happy and satisfied is by succumbing to relapses. In reality, however, mental fortitude and a strong positive attitude can be developed in such a way that addiction becomes less of a threat.
If your brain ends up producing too much dopamine as a result of its addiction, you could very well permanently reduce your ability to achieve future happiness and satisfaction. Only after you arrive at an understanding of how the brain works regarding addiction can you hope to beat it once and for all.
3. Don't be afraid to consult professionals
Many people make the terrible mistake of thinking that staying clean and sober is a personal goal which you can only achieve by yourself. In reality, however, medical professionals and addiction specialists can help you overcome the sins of your past that continue to haunt you to this day. Knowing of Rehab clinics groups in Manchester and other specialists in your area is the first step towards soliciting their assistance.
Never be hesitant to talk to a medical professional about your addiction, even and especially if you're finding it difficult to stay clean and sober. The sound advice and medical treatments offered to you by these medical professionals could make all the difference in the world on the road towards recovery.
4. Find ways of filling the gaps
Addicts who are trying to permanently abandon their drug of choice are likely familiar with the gaps in their lives which occur now that your once-habitual drug behavior has become less common or, ideally, ceased altogether. If you used to spend your weekends at the bar or your daylight hours getting high, it can be a struggle to find something to do with yourself in your newly-sober free time. Finding a way to fill these gaps and give yourself meaning is essential for staying clean and sober for long.
Joining a local sports team, establishing a thorough exercise routine, or picking up a new and exciting hobby are frequently relied upon methods for filling in the gaps left by addiction. Above all else, try to find a productive way to spend your time. If you're reading, writing, producing art, or otherwise doing something productive and positive in your life, it will be easier to stay clean and sober.
If you're finding this difficult, don't be afraid to browse some hobbies which can be easily picked up in sobriety.
5. Know that you're not alone
It's terrible unfortunate that addiction is so heavily stigmatized in modern society, particularly since it's much more common than many people believe. As a matter of fact, recent studies have posited that as many as 12.7 percent of American adults are suffering from alcoholic disorders, and that doesn't even begin to touch on the impact of other drugs over the populace. This is why it's imperative to understand that you're not alone on the road to recovery - other people are struggling alongside of you, and you don't have to wallow alone. As you'll soon discover, talking to others and going public with sobriety is a commonly-relied upon method to remain clean and sober against all odds.
Don't be afraid to turn to others to help, and don't allow stigmas to prevent you from going public with your problems. Sometimes, relying on the assistance of your friends, family, and the public is the surest method by which you can remain clean and sober.