According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 40% to 60% of all addicts who try to quit drugs and alcohol by going to a rehab facility relapse within one year. Addiction is incurable, but it can be managed. The important thing is to try quitting again after a relapse. There are many things an addict can do to prevent relapsing.
Get Good Support
You can’t try to quit alone. It’s too big of a job. You need a support system. This isn’t just a counselor or sympathetic doctor, but friends and family you can rely on to give you the help you need. A good support system is especially important during the first year of recovery since the relapse rate is so high.
Cut out so-called friends and family that use. They will constantly remind you of how good it felt to be high. Some alcoholics report that even the sound of a can of beer being cracked open was enough to make them relapse. Use in-person or online support groups to help get sympathy, tips, and as a way to keep busy.
When you are in recovery, you may be surprised at just how much time it took to feed your addiction. It takes time to get the money to get drugs or drink, time to get the stuff, and then time to get high. A common problem among those in recovery is that they suddenly do not have enough to do, get bored, and relapse.
Keeping busy helps you learn new habits to help your physical and mental health. Take up exercise, which can release endorphins to make you feel better. Change your diet to eat healthier and have more energy. Take time to write down your feelings. Draw, paint, or even use coloring books to show you that you can achieve more than just getting high.
It’s no disgrace to have to go back to a rehabilitation facility. Rehab helps you not only identify why you use drugs or alcohol, but also offers strategies on how to live in the world without them. They can help give alternatives to dealing with stress and trauma other than using them. You can also connect with people who know exactly what you are going through.
There are often many ways to pay for rehab. Some conventional health insurance plans help pay for a limited time. Medicare Parts B, C, and D pay for some counseling and outpatient rehab care. About fifteen percent of Americans, roughly 44 million, are enrolled in Medicare. Not many know about this Medicare benefit.
Jail Is Not the Answer
It is a common misconception that jail is a cheap way to get clean and sober for good. In America, jails are overcrowded. The Sentencing Project estimates that there has been a 500% increase in inmate populations in the last 40 years, despite the fact that crime, overall, has gone down. One in five jail inmates is there because of drugs.
Prison, surprisingly, is an easy place to get drugs, despite precautions taken by prison staff. There is almost no counseling. It is estimated that only 11% of inmates ever get any counseling for drugs and alcohol abuse while incarcerated. There are no strategies for how to live outside of prison. Besides, employers are very reluctant to hire, or keep employed, anyone with a prison record.
Sobriety is Possible
It’s easier to get clean than to stay clean. Relapsing does not mean that you are a failure or a hopeless case. If you relapse, then you just have to start all over again on your road to recovery. Going to rehab is a great way to help you find new ways to cope with your problems, and meet other people that are going through the exact same problems you have. While outside of rehab, keep busy and cut out anyone in your life that does not support your wish to remain sober.