This sentiment is commonly expressed in the addiction treatment world by both patients and their loved ones who attend Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings only to relapse shortly after attending them. The worst part of relapse is knowing how hard it will be to get back up again, but you’ll be stronger and more committed to sobriety than ever before if you manage to do so. However, there are several reasons you will be able to stay sober this time around if you do relapse – they might not be as apparent as you think.
Why can’t I stay sober by just going to AA or NA ?
When people attend Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings and relapse shortly afterward, they usually do so because the philosophy of the twelve-step program isn’t in line with their belief system. Perhaps you identify more with a different school of thought when it comes to treating addiction. Your treatment provider and yourself should be aligned in terms of your philosophies and beliefs concerning recovery from alcohol or drug addiction. If you believe that your current treatment style is flawed, changing it might prove beneficial for both you and your loved ones.
People who attempt to stay sober by attending Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings only to relapse shortly after attending them could benefit from alternative treatment methods such as Rational Recovery (RR) or SMART Recovery (SR). RR and SR work better for some people because they share the same core principles as these treatment methods. If you are currently attending Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings, switching to RR or SMART Recovery may benefit you.
How you stay clean while going to AA or NA?
Create a game plan
Creating a “relapse prevention plan” can help you avoid future relapse triggers. You should include situations that have previously led to a relapse and places and people that might lead to a relapse. To create a successful CPR plan, you must first examine the past situations that have contributed to your relapses.
To stay clean from drugs or alcohol, you must keep yourself occupied at all times. One of the best ways of doing this is establishing routines and sticking to them every day – this way, there won’t be any unnecessary time on your hands where temptation may arise.
Self-appraisal of your strengths and weaknesses and those of your family members is an important aspect to consider when looking into treatment options for addiction. You should all keep a journal and write down what you discover every day for this strategy to work.
Practice positive self-talk
Your inner dialogue can either help or hinder your recovery from drug or alcohol addiction – by removing the negative thoughts from your brain. Replacing them with optimistic ones can drastically improve your chances of staying clean and sober for the long term.
Maintain your hobbies and interests
When you’re living the life of an addict, it can become effortless to discard all your previous interests and get sucked into a downward spiral of drug or alcohol abuse. However, when one is recovering from addiction, maintaining these hobbies and interests becomes essential because they will provide comfort and reduce stress while making sobriety much easier to cope with daily.
Build support networks
Creating healthy relationships with like-minded individuals committed to staying clean and sober for the long term can help make sobriety more manageable for some addicts. A study published in “Add Behaviors” (2004), for instance, found that people who were able to maintain sobriety successfully (defined as the abstinence of drugs and alcohol) possessed socially solid support systems.
Internal locus of control
Research has demonstrated that individuals with an internal locus of control are more likely to stay clean and sober. Those with higher degrees of self-efficacy have a much better chance at long-term abstinence from drugs or alcohol than those without this mindset. It is essentially the difference between wanting something for yourself deeply enough versus not having a choice in the matter whatsoever. This factor should be considered when developing your personal treatment plan.
Find a sponsor
In Alcoholics Anonymous, finding a sponsor is highly recommended as they have been through what you’re going through and can help you build a support network. The sponsor supports the person that is trying to recover by sharing their experiences, strengths and hope. These strategies may prove particularly useful if you’re currently attending Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings only to relapse shortly after attending them. Including these techniques into your daily routine makes it much easier to stay sober and avoid a possible future relapse. For more information call us today at 844-639-8371. We are available 24 hours!