AFTERCARE TIPS FOR LIVING SOBER
Whether living at home, in a sober living house, or in a halfway house, it is imperative to have a plan in place for how you will live in recovery.10 The following are a few tips to help you live sober long-term:
Attend a 12-step program at least twice a week: Most recovering addicts need to be involved with an addiction support group.10 The support group is made up of people who have gone through or are currently experiencing the same or similar issues regarding recovery. The group can offer support and provide feedback to you about any concerns you have about living sober. Some newly sober recovering people find it helpful to attend 12-step meetings every day.
Get a sponsor and call him or her as often as necessary1: The sponsor has accepted the responsibility of being a mentor, so reach out often and talk about any problems. The sponsor likely has experienced the similar problems and can offer help and guidance.10 It is important to stay in contact with peers who are also in recovery to help one another stay sober and remind each other to work on daily programs. The recovery process does not have to be done alone.
Eat three meals per day: Drug use causes negative lifestyle changes included irregular eating and poor diet, which means the body does not receive the daily nutrition it needs to function.11 Regular meals are important because a person with substance use is more likely to relapse if they have poor eating habits.11 Eating foods with low fat, more protein, dietary fiber, and even vitamin and mineral supplements may be helpful during recovery.11
Exercise at least three times per week: Addiction recovery involves the spirit, mind, and body. Exercising can play a large role in recovery by reducing compulsive behaviors.12 Regular exercise is known to release endorphins, which are your body’s natural feel-good biochemical compounds.
The most important thing is to have an long-term plan in place. Set a goal to achieve long-term sobriety. Recognize that relapse may occur, so have a plan in place if and when a relapse should occur.13
For more information on addiction treatment or aftercare program or help in finding a sober living environment, our representatives are available to assist all levels of need.
- Polcin D. L., Henderson D. (2008). A Clean and Sober Place to Live: Philosophy, Structure, and Purported Therapeutic Factors in Sober Living Houses. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 40(2), 153-159.
- Polcin D. L., Korcha R., Bond J., Galloway G. (2010). What Did We Learn from Our Study on Sober Living Houses and Where Do We Go from Here? Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 42(4), 425-433.
- The Sober Living Network. (n.d.) Sober Living Coalition Membership.
- Clean and Sober Living. (n.d.) Clean and Sober Living Frontpage.
- The Sober Living Network. (2012). Standard for Quality Sober Living Homes.
- Families Against Mandatory Minimums. (2012). Frequently Asked Questions About Federal Halfway Houses & Home Confinement.
- Tennessee Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services. (n.d.) Licensure Rules: Rules for Providers of Substance Abuse Services.
- Prison Legal News. (2015). When Halfway Houses Pose Full-Time Problems.
- Mending Hearts. (2013). Mending Hearts Half-Way House Rules.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2012). Types of Treatment Programs.
- MedlinePlus. (2016). Substance use recovery and diet.
- Smith M. A., Lynch W. J. (2012). Exercise as a Potential Treatment for Drug Abuse: Evidence from Preclinical Studies. Front Psychiatry, 2(82), 1-10.
- Melemis, S.M. (2015). Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery. The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, (88)3, 325–332.