While in rehab you may have found the process of quitting alcohol or drugs easier than you thought it would be, especially if you stayed in a residential treatment centre where you had constant access to support.
Inpatient treatment is often cited as the best possible start for someone who wants to break free from addiction, as it means they are away from temptations and can access therapy and counselling when they need it. They can also be provided with supervised medication to help with withdrawal symptoms if necessary.
However, once a recovering addict leaves the treatment centre, he or she may find things a little more difficult. Some recovering addicts are so focused on their recovery that nothing can get in the way of it, but others may find that being at home proves to be difficult and they could start to falter.
Avoiding Relapse at Home
When you are at home, you may be able to minimise the risk of temptations by proofing your home and ensuring that there is nothing that could trigger cravings. You can get rid of alcohol from within the house as well as any mood-altering medication. You can change your routines so that you are not reminded of times when you used to drink alcohol. And you can make sure that there are no foods in the home that have been flavoured with alcohol. Although it will not be easy, staying sober at home is something that you can have a great deal of control over. But what happens when you are travelling?
Avoiding Relapse When Travelling
If your job requires you to do a lot of travelling, you may be worried about how you are going to cope while away from home. When you are travelling, you will be away from your support network and may feel vulnerable. You may be worried about business dinners and meetings, many of which involve alcohol.
It is important that you make plans before travelling away from home, especially in the early days of recovery. If travel cannot be avoided, then being prepared will help. You may be able to find a meeting in the town or city where you are travelling that you can attend to help you stay on track. Make sure you can contact your sponsor or counsellor should you need to. And if there are going to be meetings or business dinners at which alcohol will be served, make sure there will be a non-alcoholic option available.
Travelling by Plane
If you are flying by yourself, then you will undoubtedly be worried about how you are going to cope while in the air when alcohol is being served. It is likely that the person sitting next to you will order an alcoholic drink and you may be worried about how this will affect you.
You may be able to switch seats so that you can sit beside someone who is not drinking alcohol and most air stewards will accommodate your request if you explain your situation. However, this may not always be possible, so you need to think of another way to distract yourself. Try meditation or simply close your eyes and listen to some music on the headphones.
Recovery can be hard in the early days. You will be faced with any number of temptations and triggers that could put your recovery at risk, but you need to stay strong. Remember why you wanted to quit in the first place and think about how bad you felt when you were drinking. Think of your family and how disappointed they would be if you were to drink again and then think about how proud you can be of yourself for keeping your sobriety on track. If you think you need more addiction advice, call an organisation such as Addiction Helper and talk to the counsellors.