How To Avoid or Manage Common Temptations While Detoxing
The move from a supported environment back to normal living can be a tough transition. Upon leaving rehab/detox, you may find yourself put in trigger situations, or situations that spark the thought of reverting back to old habits. Things like returning to your old neighborhood, seeing old friends or family members, and even certain emotions may tempt you to go back to using drugs or drinking.
There are a few things you can do to avoid or manage these temptations in your daily life after rehab or detox, such as:
- Find a solid support system. Surround yourself with sober people, as well as people who have your best interests at heart and want to help you be successful. Find a support group in your area, or even someone you can call when you feel tempted.
- Modify your environment. Before returning home from rehab or even if you’re detoxing at home yourself, ask a loved one or someone you trust to remove any paraphernalia from your house. Try to avoid places that spark feelings of interest toward using.
- Set goals for the future. When you set goals for the future, it will be much easier to manage your temptations when they arise. When you have a sense of why you want to stay sober and all the benefits it will bring to your life, it will be much easier to stay on track.
- Keep your follow-up appointments. If you’ve scheduled follow-up appointments with your therapist or a psychologist, stick to these appointments. You may feel tempted to skip them, or think that you can handle it on your own, but it’s much easier to avoid or manage temptations when you are receiving support from health professionals.
- Find a moment each day to be thankful. When we have a strong appreciation for the life we’ve been given, it’s easier to recognize how much we have to be thankful for. Consider starting a gratitude journal and writing down five things each day that make you feel fulfilled and happy.
- Create new, healthy habits to replace the old ones. A study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology shows that it takes more than two months before a new habit becomes automatic, so find a new, positive habit you enjoy doing and stick with it.
Participate In Sober Activities Instead of Using Drugs or Alcohol
Replacing old habits with positive, new habits is critical during your recovery. Sober activities don’t have to be boring — there’s still plenty of fun to be had without drugs or alcohol.
Here are a few examples of healthy ways to keep your mind occupied during your transition from rehab:
- Play sports
- Visit an arts and crafts shop
- Go back to school or start an online course
- Learn a new language
- Plant a garden
- Listen to music that you love
No matter where you live, there are positive outlets that provide community and support during your life after rehab. Surround yourself with encouraging individuals by joining a support group, attending counselling sessions and participating in meet-up activities. You can also participate in many types of continuing care, including individual therapy, check-ups, 12-step meetings and alternative support groups.
Going To Parties or Bars Without Drinking or Using: Is It Possible?
For some, it’s best to completely avoid tempting situations, as people in early recovery are often more vulnerable than people who have been sober for several years. As a newcomer, you may not have replaced your old habits yet, making it that much more difficult to resist temptation.
I stay away from old places and things. It took time to build the trust back with my family. But I don’t blame them. I did a lot of harm. My life is so different than how I used to live. I love myself today.
– Anindya Chakrabarty*, recovering addict
However, if you’re placed in a situation where encountering some type of drinking is inevitable (like a family holiday party), there are a few steps you can take to make the situation as easy as possible.
How to avoid temptation in social settings:
- Surround yourself with people you trust and go with a sober friend.
- Keep a non-alcoholic beverage in your hand to keep your senses occupied.
- Keep your time at the party to a minimum – arrive late or leave early.
- Leave immediately if you start to feel uncomfortable or tempted.
Addiction is a disease, not a taboo, we firmly believe that recovery is possible. If you’re struggling with this disease or if you have a loved one whose life you want to save, feel free to contact us. We’ll walk through this path together.