Maintaining Sobriety and Avoiding Relapse

You've made it through rehab and are clean and sober — Now what? Addiction is a disease that is resistant to treatment and subject to relapse. To make positive and lasting change in your recovery, make sure you have support and resources to back you up.

Dr. Frank Lawlis, chairman of the Dr. Phil advisory board, is a consultant for the show and advises on weight loss, relaxation and general wellness. He offers his steps for maintaining sobriety:

1) Continue to learn what your triggers are and alternative behaviors to cope with them.

2) Develop a team of at least four types who support you: Someone who has more knowledge than you, someone who believes in you, someone who protects you when you need it, and someone who keeps you accountable.

3) Re-confirm your pledge to yourself every day, twice a day.

4) Find ways for nurturance and pleasure.

5) Pace yourself and start a new history.

6) Find some aspect of spirituality, so you know there is something greater than yourself.

7) Brilliant in its simplicity, The Serenity Prayer is one of the key spiritual tools used by virtually all 12-step recovery support group members:

The Serenity Prayer
"God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference."

According to Camp Recovery Center, beware of the common triggers for relapse:
  • Being in social situations or places where drugs/alcohol are available
  • Being socially isolated
  • Being around drugs/alcohol or using any mood-altering substance
  • Stress
  • Over-confidence
  • Complacency
  • Mental or physical illness or pain
  • Reminiscing about drug use or telling “war stories”
  • Boredom
  • Self-pity
For more information about potential relapse pitfalls and how to prevent them, click here!

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