As you may have heard, relapse begins far before one actually picks up a drug or a drink. Relapse is preceded by a shift in attitude and action; sometimes so slight that no one seems to notice aside from the individual who happens to be struggling. While prelapse may be extended and may seem to require ending poorly, it never has to – with the proper preventative measures and restorative action, even those who may believe relapse to be inevitable are capable of staying clean for just one more day.
Avoid Relapse – Get a Homegroup
One of the first steps you can take to ensure continued sobriety is carefully planning out your meetings for the week and sticking to your set plan. It is highly recommended that those in their first 90 days of sobriety commit to attending 90 meetings – essentially, one meeting per day. There are a wide variety of 12-step fellowships to choose from, with the most popular remaining Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. As soon as you graduate from an inpatient drug treatment program, it is important to establish yourself in a fellowship if you have not done so already. Find a “homegroup” – a weekly meeting that you will become a member of, attending business meetings and (hopefully) picking up service commitments within the group such as chairing or greeting. Not only will this help you to be accountable every week with a commitment, but it will also provide you with an instantaneous support system of sober men and women you can call if you ever feel as if you are struggling.
Find a Sponsor as Soon as Possible
It is equally as important to find a sponsor within the first couple of weeks after you have transitioned from an inpatient treatment center to a sober living facility or halfway house. A sponsor is someone who will guide you through the 12-steps of your chosen fellowship – typically someone with ample “clean time” and who possesses qualities that you admire and are striving towards. A sponsor will also give you advice on subjects and issues that are new to you, seeing as he or she has inevitably been through a similar experience, or knows someone who has. Take these essential steps and you will further protect your sobriety, ensuring more meaningful and fulfilled recovery overall.