For many patients, outpatient treatment is the best choice for handling alcohol addiction. This approach allows you to keep attending school or work while getting the treatment you need to become sober. One challenge of outpatient treatment, however, is that alcohol is accessible. Unlike with inpatient rehab, where you'd be in a facility without any access to alcohol, you'll be living at home with liquor stores within reach. So how can you stay sober while in outpatient treatment for alcohol addiction? Start by following these tips.
1. Don't have any alcohol in the house.
You are less likely to relapse if you have to get in your car and drive to the liquor store to buy alcohol. You have more time to think through the decision. With alcohol in the cupboard, on the other hand, it literally only takes a few seconds of weakness to relapse. Throw away your alcohol — all of it. If you live with someone else, explain that in order for your treatment to be successful, they cannot keep alcohol in the house. If they care about you, they will understand and comply.
2. Stick to your appointments.
Do not cancel or reschedule any of your treatment appointments, whether they be therapy sessions, group sessions, or some other part of your treatment. These programs are set up in a way that keeps sobriety on your mind consistently. If you skip an appointment, you are more likely to relapse.
3. Have someone on hand to call when you're feeling weak.
In a traditional, 12-step rehab program, you typically have a sponsor who you can call if you are having a moment of weakness and you feel like drinking. If your treatment program does not assign you a sponsor in this manner, ask your therapist if they can recommend someone to serve this role. Having someone to turn to can help ensure you don't make any bad decisions.
4. Choose an alternative, go-to habit.
It helps to designate a habit that you can turn to and engage in whenever you are feeling tempted and weak. This can be anything from eating sunflower seeds to exercising. Just make sure it is the same habit, time after time. Slowly but surely, you will start to crave this habit instead of alcohol.
Outpatient treatment requires a lot of personal responsibility, but with the tips above, you can successfully navigate the process and remain sober.
To learn more about your options for alcohol addiction treatment in your area, contact a treatment center.