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How to Stay Clean After Rehab

Drug & Alcohol Treatment in Costa Mesa, CA | Resurgence Behavioral Health

Addiction comes in many different forms. When most people think of addiction, they immediately associate it with drugs and alcohol.

While these are common obstacles many people deal with when trying to stay clean, it’s just as important to eradicate the behaviors associated with addiction. If you don’t have a handle on them, it often leads to a relapse.

Undoing all the hard work associated with your treatment program is the last thing you want once you’ve gotten clean. Learn what triggers a relapse and how to avoid one for your mental and physical health.

Know What Triggers You When Trying to Stay Clean

It’s hard to get rid of an addiction when you’re constantly around things that make you think of it or want to indulge. Consider what triggers you run into in your daily life that pushes you to use, and find out how to monitor them.

Think about things like:

  • People you know that still use
  • Living in a certain city or area of the city
  • Going to places that trigger memories of using

As difficult as it is, avoid these places. Doing so is important during your quest to stay clean.

Move if possible, and cut off individuals who make drugs and alcohol part of their lives. These steps sound impossible, but you’ll find the road to recovery gets easier when you aren’t dealing with situations that remind you of your former life.

Understand It’s Important to Talk About Your Concerns with Relapsing

Feeling alone makes not relapsing harder. You feel as though no one understands you, and the only way to get comfortable is through the drug of your choice.

When on the journey to living an addiction-free lifestyle, it’s important to remember you aren’t alone. Seek out the help of others as you stay clean, so you can find comfort and get the support you need.

If you don’t have friends or family who understand, consider getting help in the form of therapy. Therapists who specialize in addictions and recovery know what you’re going through, and have tools to help you.

Don’t deprive yourself of the support you’re entitled to. Doing so makes the difference between going back to your addiction or pushing on ahead.

Join a Support Group and Get Guidance From Those Who Understand

Sometimes the help of a therapist is useful, but you want to connect with others who are going on the same journey and know what it’s like to stay clean. In cases such as these, it’s helpful to join a support group.

Sometimes known as 12 Step Recovery programs, these are designed to give a group of people goals to work toward as they go through addiction recovery. You’ll discover you aren’t alone, and see how others cope with the process.

Since battling addiction is isolating for some people, you’ll feel encouraged and know that you have the strength to go forward. Not only that, but you’ll make new friends who share your newly clean lifestyle and beliefs as well.

Be Active and Exercise

Exercise does more than simply help keep unwanted weight off. It boosts your self-confidence, gives you energy, and allows to direct energy that would have gone toward your addiction to staying active.

The benefits of exercise include getting better sleep and feeling more relaxed, which is a common problem for those who are coming off an addiction and aren’t sure how to get their bodies back to a healthier state of being. It gives you a jump on endorphins too, known as the happiness hormone, which is useful when you’re having a bad day.

You can choose to exercise in a variety of ways. From joining the gym, finding a class, working out on your own with a video, or even running or walking during your free time. All of these are possible ways to help take back control of your life and stay clean as you live addiction-free.

Stay in the Present Moment

As you keep on the road to recovery, one of the most important things you can do for yourself is to stay in the present moment. Allowing yourself to slip back into a cycle of thinking and brooding doesn’t bode well for changing your life.

This causes you to:

  • Feel guilty
  • Beat yourself up for choices you made
  • Undo hard work you’ve achieved in your recovery process
  • Doesn’t allow you to fully heal
  • Can trigger a relapse in certain people

The process of thinking and brooding about the same things over and over is known as rumination. It’s tempting to do this when you’re having a bad day, but avoid these behaviors, since it leads to depression.

When you feel this coming on, engage your mind in other ways. This could range from long-term to short-term tasks that help end the process.


  • Visiting a friend
  • Volunteering
  • Exercising
  • Writing or journaling
  • Going someplace and being immersed in the here and now

The more you learn to handle these feelings and the desire to ruminate, the easier it becomes to prevent depression and a relapse from finding their way to you.

Learn More

Going through recovery is never an easier process, but it’s worth it to change your life for the better and stay clean. Although these steps help you in your journey to be free from addiction, it’s important to check in with yourself and see if you need extra help from professionals.

If you’re looking to get a start on the recovery process, we are here to help. Contact us, and see how you can begin recovery at one of our treatment centers.

You are never alone. We can help you through each step until you’re living addiction-free.

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