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Long-term successful recovery after quitting drug use or substance use can be very challenging for some people. Depending on the drugs or substances that were being abused, recovery can look like an impossible journey. However, by utilizing the right resources and relying on methods proven to help people stay in recovery, you can have a long and successful life free from drugs.

Ensuring your successful recovery is a crucial part of getting your life back after drug abuse or substance abuse. However, everybody’s journey towards recovery looks different, so it is important not to judge other people’s recovery paths, avoid comparing your recovery to others, or get disheartened if your path does not look like others’ paths.

Many people believe that recovery has to be perfect and there can be no bumps in the road. However, that is not realistic. Many people struggle with triggers, cravings, relapsing, and other drug or substance abuse-related issues during and after quitting drugs or substances. It is important to recognize that there may be setbacks along your journey. Life is not perfect, and we must remember that it is okay to hit bumps in the road.

If a loved one is dealing with the after-effects of drug abuse or substance abuse, it is important to show your support for them to get clean and healthy again. Whether you are reading this to support a friend or family member or to support yourself, it is a great step towards ensuring the longevity of your recovery. Please continue reading to learn more about how to make your recovery successful and stay sober.

How to Ensure Your Sobriety is Long-Term

Maintaining sobriety can be very difficult for some people. Some drugs are more addictive and can make staying sober a huge challenge. Regardless of the drugs or substances a person was addicted to, they can still face struggles with triggers, experiencing cravings, or relapsing.

To make sure that your sobriety lasts, you have to be able to handle things like triggers and cravings as they come. This can seem incredibly difficult, but with the right support, it is much easier to identify the psychological factors behind triggers and cravings.

Incorporating psychological help, such as therapy, into your recovery plan is a great way to ensure that your sobriety is long-term and effective. Unfortunately, many people overlook the fact that addiction is not only physical and chemical but psychological as well. The lasting effects of addiction on a person’s psychological health are powerful and usually cannot be handled by oneself.

Certain types of therapy are more beneficial for people suffering from addiction than others. For example, some therapists specialize in dealing with people suffering and recovering from addiction. This is the best type of therapist for people in recovery or suffering from addiction.

Another type of therapy that is incredibly beneficial for people in recovery is cognitive-behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy, also known as CBT, is a type of talk therapy that helps people to identify behaviors and change them over time by creating new neural pathways. This is helpful for people who are suffering from cravings and triggers.

The behavior of drug addiction can be conditioned, and new behaviors that are healthy and promote recovery can be learned.

As with most types of therapy, changes will not occur overnight. It takes time to unlearn old habits and behaviors, and we learn how to behave and think. The important thing is that you stick with it.

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Taking care of your mental health is an important part of staying in recovery, but so is taking care of your physical health. Begin to exercise regularly, get outside, and take up new hobbies where you move your body. Keeping your body occupied with daily movement is a great way to maintain physical health.

Taking good care of your body is very important. This is especially true because many people suffer long-term side effects from drug and substance abuse. Taking care of yourself daily goes beyond working out or incorporating movement into your life. Make sure you are indulging in a little self-care and basic hygiene. 

Feeling good about how you present yourself to the world is a huge aspect of maintaining a healthy mental state and avoiding falling back to using a substance to feel good. 

Other helpful options are to keep track of your behaviors and feelings in a journal, have open communication with friends and family about your emotional struggles and struggles with recovery, get plenty of sleep, eat healthily and drink enough water, and do things that make you happy. In addition, incorporate ways to get in touch with your inner self, such as meditation, mindfulness, or yoga, to help identify deeper feelings and rooted emotions.

Why Support is Essential to Long-Lasting Sobriety and Signs You May Need It

You may try everything recommended to you to stay in recovery but still feel like you are struggling to stay sober. That is okay. As stated earlier, recovery is not always a smooth and perfect path for everybody. Most people experience bumps in the road and setbacks, which is okay.

Struggling with sobriety is not an issue unique to you. Many people in recovery struggle, but you must recognize that you are struggling and reach out to the appropriate resources to help you stay clean and on a good path.

That being said, it is important to be able to identify signs that you or a loved one is struggling to stay sober. 

Some symptoms of this struggle include:

  • A general sense of hopelessness
  • Low levels of energy or disinterest in hobbies
  • Significant weight loss or weight gain
  • Issues with appetite
  • Feeling worthless
  • Trouble maintaining focus
  • New or worsening anxiety symptoms
  • Sleep issues
  • Bargaining with the idea that it would be okay to use a substance once
  • Fantasizing about using the drug again
  • Intense mood swings or behavioral changes
  • Self-isolation
  • Talking about using drugs or substances again
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These symptoms can affect anyone in a range of ways. Some people may experience some of these symptoms, while others may experience different ones. There is no set number of symptoms that determine whether somebody is struggling with recovery or not. However, it is safe to say that if somebody is thinking about using drugs, talking about using drugs again, or experiencing significant effects on their life because of these symptoms, they may need more help in recovery.

Isolation is a huge aspect of a struggle and recovery many overlook. This is why it is so important to have a strong support system while recovering. Having a support team including friends, family, professional addiction counselors, therapists, and others is extremely beneficial. Having accountability and being surrounded by people supporting you is a powerful way to stay sober and can sometimes be the difference between a person relapsing and staying clean.

What to Do if You Are Having a Hard Time Staying Sober

Experiencing difficulties during recovery is completely normal. It is nearly impossible to overcome an addiction without difficulties along the way. If you have loved ones experiencing difficulties staying sober, remember that recovery is not linear for everybody.

If you notice warning signs that you may relapse, it is important to reach out for help. Rely on the people around you who love and care about you, such as family and close friends. Communicate with your support groups, therapists, doctors, and others who understand the severity of the situation.

One of the best ways to make a recovery a little bit easier and stay sober is to rely on a professional facility. Unfortunately, going to a professional facility often feels like a step in the wrong direction. However, that is not the case. Going to a professional care facility is a smart way to ensure you stay clean.

Some say that going to a professional care facility feels like a step backward because it makes them feel like they are an addict again, but the truth is it is a huge step in the right direction. It shows that you are not only aware of how you are feeling but also have the self-knowledge, self-love, and commitment to staying sober to do the right thing to help yourself.

If you or a loved one is suffering and struggling to stay sober during recovery, please do not hesitate to contact Infinity Recovery. Everyone deserves to live without addiction and the stress that they may relapse. So please take the next right step with us. 

Sources:

Infinite Recovery has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations for our references. We avoid using tertiary references as our sources. You can learn more about how we source our references by reading our editorial guidelines and medical review policy.

  1. McHugh RK, Hearon BA, Otto MW. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Substance Use Disorders. Psychiatric Clinics. 2010;33(3):511-525. doi:10.1016/j.psc.2010.04.012
Amanda Stevens, BS

Medical Content Writer

Amanda Stevens, BS

Amanda is a prolific medical content writer specializing in eating disorders and addiction treatment. She graduated Magnum Cum Laude from Purdue University with a B.S. in Social Work. As a person in recovery from disordered eating, she is passionate about seeing people heal and transform. She writes for popular treatment centers such as Ocean Recovery, Ascendant NY, The Heights Treatment, Epiphany Wellness, New Waters Recovery and adolescent mental health treatment center BasePoint Academy. In her spare time she loves learning about health, nutrition, meditation, spiritual practices, and enjoys being the a mother of a beautiful daughter.

Last medically reviewed July 9, 2022

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