5 Tips for Living Sober
1. Identify Personal TriggersWhen you know and understand your triggers – which can be certain people, places, things, or situations that elicit cravings or feelings or thoughts associated with substance abuse – it’s much easier to prevent yourself from relapsing. You can plan to prepare for encountering them or avoiding them. Common personal triggers may include emotional distress, environmental cues, financial difficulties, people still using drugs or drinking, problems at work or school, relationship troubles, and stress.
2. Recognize Signs of Impending RelapseA relapse can sneak up on you – but if you recognize the warning signs early enough, you’ll be ready when it comes. For most people, a relapse begins long before they pick up a drink or use an addictive drug. It involves three phases: emotional, mental, and physical. Before you go through these three phases of relapse, you might:
- Engage in self-defeating and compulsive behaviors
- Find a situation in which substance use seems like a logical escape from pain
- Return to addictive thoughts and thinking patterns
- Seek out situations involving people who use alcohol and drugs
- Think less rationally and behave less responsibly