Unfortunately, there are many Americans dealing with alcohol-related issues. According to the U.S. government, nearly 26% of adults have engaged in a binge drinking session within the past 30 days.
Even more alarming is that nearly 15 million Americans are suffering from alcohol use disorder (AUD). This represents more than 5% of the entire U.S. population. This means that 1 out of 20 people you know may have AUD.
Many recovering alcoholics have used rehab as a means to curb their addiction. Once the addiction is broken, staying sober is the next challenge.
Read on for a comprehensive guide on how to stay sober. Explore tips for staying sober that are certain to help you in the battle against alcoholism.
What Is Alcohol Use Disorder?
Before diving into how to stay sober after rehab, it is important to understand what the disease truly is. AUD is a form of uncontrollable or problematic drinking.
There are various ranges of severity when it comes to AUD. It is important to recognize and treat AUD early because it leaves lasting damage to the brain. Excessive alcohol use is also certain to reduce your life expectancy.
What Are the Symptoms of AUD?
It is equally important to know the symptoms of AUD. The presence of these symptoms indicates that you are no longer staying sober after a rehab stint.
Drinking more or longer than you intended is one of the first signs you have an issue. For many people with a problematic history, just one drink means you need help again.
It is also symptomatic when you want to stop drinking but cannot. This symptom is typically accompanied by a strong craving for a drink. Many people use alcohol to relieve stress or address problems in their daily lives.
Some alcoholics are willing to give up their favorite hobbies or cease relationships with family and friends for a drink. Others need more alcohol to receive the buzz they seek. In the worst cases, the person has withdrawal symptoms when alcohol isn’t available.
Rehab is the best treatment option to address these symptoms. Even after getting sober, many fall off the wagon and find themselves experiencing these same symptoms for a second time. Now, we are ready to discuss the six common mistakes that people make when trying to stay sober.
1. Maintaining Unhealthy Relationships
You are a product of the people that you surround yourself with. If you are frequently hanging out with people that are a poor influence, it is going to weigh on you.
Friends and family that care about you are going to remove temptations. They are not going to bring an ice-cold 12-pack of beer to dinner. Also, they are not going to ask if you want a drink or bring you to places where people are drinking in abundance.
Instead, you should find people who support your quest to stay sober. They are a positive influence and are willing to forgo their desire to drink for the sake of your health.
2. Failing to Have Hobbies and Positive Activities
You cannot always be surrounded by friends and family. There are going to be times when you are alone. This is when mental demons are at their strongest and appeal to your vulnerabilities.
The best thing that you can do to fight this is to fill your alone time with positivity. This may include adding hobbies to your life such as fishing or working out at the gym. Others choose to read, garden, or do home improvement projects.
The activity that you choose is not that important. What is important is filling your time with constructive and positive activities that squash your mental demons.
3. Lacking Coping Mechanisms
Sometimes, no matter what you do, the craving for a drink feels overpowering. It is at these times that you need to find a reliable coping mechanism.
Every recovering alcoholic is going to have different coping mechanisms. For some people, it may be taking a walk or going for a drive.
Others need a friend or family member to talk to. Many people find comfort and peace in yoga or meditation.
It really does not matter what your specific coping mechanism is. What is important is having a plan of action in place when cravings are at their worst. Lacking coping mechanisms leaves you susceptible to a relapse.
4. Making Poor Choices
You retain control over every facet of your life. This control includes the places that you choose to eat at or visit.
Going to a bar or nightclub is not a good choice for those struggling with AUD. Here, you are going to be surrounded by people having a good time and drinking.
The people around you are under the effects of alcohol and their judgment is tainted. They are going to try and convince you that there is no harm in having a drink. The best advice is to avoid places like this until you feel absolutely comfortable in your sobriety.
5. Forgoing Help
You are not in this alone. There are naturally going to be bumps in the road on your path to sobriety.
At your greatest moments of weakness, it is important to seek help. Keeping negative thoughts to yourself is going to lead to negative outcomes. The best thing you can do is seek help when needed, whether it is a close friend or professional guidance.
6. Ignoring Your Mental Health
Many people take mental health for granted. They dedicate their focus to physical well-being instead of what is happening upstairs.
When it comes to sobriety, a healthy mental state is key. You need to be aware of what triggers thoughts of depression or anxiety. Addressing these negative mental health cues is going to help you simultaneously battle your cravings for a drink.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Staying Sober
You are now ready to avoid common mistakes made in the battle for sobriety. Fortunately, you can learn from the mistakes of others who have battled before you. Mistakes like lacking a coping mechanism or making poor choices may result in setbacks.
If you are looking for advice on staying sober, contact us today to speak with a professional.