Detoxing from alcohol is difficult, and it can be dangerous as well. People who have a physical dependency on alcohol should detox in the presence of medical professionals in a quality rehabilitation clinic. But what about after that?
One of the most dangerous times for relapsing is after a person leaves rehabilitation and rejoins normal life in the outside world. All the old impulses, stressors, and triggers present themselves again. Resisting the urge to drink again can be overwhelming.
You don't have to go it alone. By managing triggers, building new social connections, moving into traditional housing, and making use of ongoing outpatient programs, you can stay sober.
Our team at The Hader Clinic can help you with detoxing and rehab. Then, we can help you stay sober with our outpatient programs. Find out more about how we can assist you with managing an alcohol addiction after rehab ends.
Move to a safe space: don't just jump back into your old life
The world is full of temptations and stressful situations: the things that might have caused somebody to develop an addiction to alcohol in the first place. After rehabilitation, it can be helpful to move into a safe living environment that is more similar to, but easier to deal with than, the outside world.
By moving into transitional housing, a recovering alcoholic can ease back into normalcy. They can get on with work and reconnect with their families, while still having the support to handle the challenges that life dishes out.
Avoid triggers that make you want to drink again
When grappling with an addiction, one of the best ways to prevent relapsing is to avoid triggers. People, places, and certain activities can invoke an urge to use again.
With alcohol in Australia, avoiding triggering circumstances is extremely difficult. It can feel as though drinking is omnipresent in Australian society, and commercials for alcoholic beverages are plastered across televisions, billboards, and social media.
Still, there are steps you can take to make things easier. Book in for social outings where people aren't drinking. If you find yourself at a pub or a party where people are drinking, keep a non-alcoholic drink in your hand to reduce the number of times somebody offers to get you a beer.
Create a fulfilling social life that doesn't involve alcohol
There are many external social conditions that might lead a person to drink. For example, people drink because they're shy, lonely, sad, or because they think they need to in social situations. When an alcoholic quits drinking, physical withdrawals are challenging. However, the emotional and social withdrawals can be even more painful.
Gritting your teeth and resisting the urge to drink isn't enough; to stay sober in the long run, it is important to establish fulfilling social connections and relationships that don't involve alcohol. That might involve things like volunteering, a change of career, reconnecting with old friends, or making new ones. There's no one right way to build a meaningful community — but there are many ways to do it without drinking alcohol.
Remember your milestones and celebrate them
For a recovering alcoholic, every day spent abstaining from alcohol is an achievement. When you hit big milestones, like a month, six-months, or a year without drinking, take the time to celebrate the occasion.
The temptation to relapse never entirely goes away, but building new routines and resolve can make the journey to recovery easier with time. Looking back, and seeing how far you've come, is a great way to gain confidence for the road ahead.
Seek help and support with alcohol addiction aftercare
After a person leaves rehab, and even after they leave transitional housing, they still have access to programs and therapies. Intensive outpatient treatments are a helpful way to rejoin normal life, without relapsing into bad old habits.
By accessing and participating in outpatient relapse prevention programs, recovering addicts can continue to receive the treatment they need while still participating in normal life.