Staying sober and being in recovery from drug addiction means abstinence from the drug you were addicted to. For some people, it may be easier to avoid drugs – they may avoid being around friends they used to get high with or may have even moved somewhere else to get away from temptation or unsupportive influences. Others may not be as fortunate and may have to face the presence of drugs or daily temptation to use.
Preparing to quit using drugs starts with acknowledging that your use is out of your control and negatively affecting your life and relationships. But, staying sober is hard, and sometimes triggers to use pop up when you least expect it. Successful recovery often means having a strong, comprehensive plan in place, too.
Avoiding Drugs With a Solid Plan
Preventing using drugs and avoiding them begins with mapping out how you will do it. Work with your therapist, counselor, or sponsor and write down what you will do when you feel tempted to use and the specific triggers you have. Then, create plans to avoid triggers or work through upsetting situations. For example, if work stress usually prompts you to get high, then examine how you can eliminate triggering events. Common work triggers may be co-workers you don’t get along with or customer interactions that leave you upset and stressed.
Other times, you may be able to avoid triggering situations. This can mean taking a new route home so that you won’t drive past a liquor store you used to go to or the place where you would meet a dealer to buy drugs. Knowing how you will handle a triggering situation ahead of time protects you – just follow your plan instead of having to fight the urge and be unsure what to do when a sudden craving comes on.
Ways to Avoid Drugs and Prevent Using
Many people view recovery as not just being sober, but making lifestyle changes that include avoiding using drugs and being in situations where drugs are used. If your weekend fun includes getting high with friends, then part of being in recovery may mean avoiding those situations until you feel confident enough not to use. Other times, it may mean changing your “party times” entirely.
You may also benefit from medication that can blunt a craving to use drugs, like Suboxone. Part of medication-assisted sobriety may make it easier to avoid drugs since the cravings are reduced.
Addressing Reasons You Use Drugs
Many people who are addicted to drugs may have an undiagnosed mental illness, like depression, anxiety, bipolar, or PTSD. Or, past trauma can cause people to use drugs more often to self-medicate their pain. Working with a trained professional to diagnose and treat any underlying co-morbid conditions can help improve your mental state. And that, in turn, may make it a lot easier to avoid drugs.
Support To Help You Avoid Drugs
Support systems are important to help you avoid drugs and prevent a relapse. If you have family and friends that you can rely on when you need to leave a situation where drugs are present, it may be much easier to avoid drugs.
Do you need professional help getting sober and starting recovery? We can help. Baystate Recovery Center offers several programs to help you get through withdrawal and start on the road to recovery. We offer group support, family counseling, and relapse prevention counseling to support you. Contact us today to confidentially discuss your options.
Baystate Recovery Center, a clinically Infused 12-Step Treatment Center for Drug and Alcohol Addiction, was founded by two partners in addiction treatment services, John Checchi and Michael Wilson.