GUEST POST: 5 Reasons Why a Good Support System Helps You Stay Sober by Kevin Brenden

Completing your drug treatment program is a huge milestone that deserves to be celebrated. This big moment also represents another step in your journey that requires strategic planning to ensure that you stay sober. A support system looks different for everyone. While one person may be fine with just a mentor, another person may need a more structured environment to stay on the right path. Although there are significant differences in the levels of support from which you may choose, you can expect them all to provide you with these benefits for helping you stay sober.

Stay Busy with Sober Activities
One of the first things people notice when they stop doing drugs or drinking alcohol is how much time is left to fill up during their day. This is why drug and alcohol treatment programs emphasize the importance of recreational activities. Now that you are out in the world again, your support network should be filled with people who share your interests. Having a friend nearby who wants to practice yoga or ride horses with you serves as a reminder of how much fun life is when you are sober.

Be Accountable for Staying on Track
The early months of sobriety are your most vulnerable time for going back to your old ways especially once you feel the freedom of leaving treatment. Adding a sober living environment to your support system is one way to slowly transition to a life without drugs or alcohol within a structured environment. For example, biweekly drug testing makes you stay accountable for your actions. Knowing that someone who cares will find out if you use again makes you think twice before giving in to your cravings.

Have Someone to Talk to for Support
Those late night cravings are no joke, and you will find yourself at some point desperately needing encouragement. Surround yourself with other people who understand what it is like to battle addiction. Whether you need to connect with a roommate during a late night chat session or find that sharing a personal victory over a craving in group helps reinforce positive behavior, you should always have several people that you know you can turn to for support.

Avoid Preventable Triggers
People who have been sober for years still find it necessary to avoid known triggers such as having alcohol or drugs in their home. Unfortunately, leaving your treatment center also means that you may no longer have total control over keeping your triggers away. This is why many people choose a sober living residence where having drugs or alcohol on the property is not allowed. Eliminating triggers simplifies your process of ending your addiction since you can’t give in to a craving when you don’t have access to drugs or alcohol.

Rebuild Your Life with Support
Deciding to end your addiction is a great first step toward improving your life. However, healing the damage that years of addiction have caused takes some work. Your support network can help you regain confidence as you learn how to do things such as improve your family relationships and obtain employment.

Throughout any major life change, you should be able to rely upon the support of others who care about your wellbeing. Staying sober is one of those goals that requires finding others who are encouraging and compassionate to surround yourself with. By forming a support system that is tailored to your recovery plan, you can prevent relapse as you work on hitting your first year of sobriety milestone.

 

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