Reports from The CDC state that U.S. drug overdose deaths skyrocketed to a record 93,000 last year—a nearly 30% increase—as the pandemic took hold. That’s the largest one-year increase ever recorded. The rate of overdoses rose in 48 of 50 states, fueled by methamphetamine and other powerful opioids, including fentanyl. Comparatively, overdoses accounted for more deaths in 2020 than car crashes, gun violence and HIV/AIDS combined.
Addiction is taking more and more lives every day. If you or someone you know struggles with addiction and substance misuse, odds are you also know at least one person who has already lost their battle. The reality of long-term active addiction is clear.
Times are tough, battles within are never-ending. Reinforcing habits of sobriety will help sustain long-term abstinence. Recovery takes a lot of self-reflection and courage to take actions that better one’s life. Someone in recovery can get swept up in everyday life the same as anyone else. Unfortunately, this can leave them vulnerable to relapse. Without continuous awareness, triggers can knock someone in recovery right off the wagon.
- Be grateful.
- Get involved.
- Do some self care.
- Validate your emotions.
- Be proud.
- Be Grateful
Take time to reflect on where you are. Be mindful at this moment and recognize how far you’ve come. Make a list of all the things in your life right now that you are thankful for. If you have trouble getting started, think simple. Being grateful for sunny days or your furry pet is just as valid as being thankful for your children.
Being thankful not only increases all those feel-good chemicals in the brain, it also reconnects us with our path. By being aware and recognizing all these things in our life allow us to also be thankful for our experience, knowing we wouldn’t be here right now if it hadn’t been for the wild ride here.
- Get Involved
Join a local meeting or other sobriety organization and participate. Show up, share and join in the fellowship. Connecting with others in recovery can be a humbling reminder of your journey. Often these local organizations have events and other gatherings that come with an opportunity to be more involved. Maybe step up and be a speaker, a sponsor or maybe you just need to show up and hear others.
Getting involved in a recovery program or local sobriety organization is a sure way to reinforce your sobriety. Not only will the comradery be beneficial at validating the recovery process, but chances are you’ll have fun too. The recovery community is always ready to embrace you, no matter where you are in recovery.
- Do Some Self-Care
Sometimes to reconnect with yourself all it takes is a little self-care. Life, in general, can be full of chaos and often things can get blurry going through the motions. Your well-being requires self-care. Take time to soak in the tub or go for a walk in nature. Go get a massage or that mani-pedi you’ve been putting off.
Taking a break from the grind for just a moment to treat yourself can reinforce sobriety by allowing you to relax without using. Sometimes we don’t realize how close we were too bad decisions until we are able to take a step back and really breathe. You’ve come this far, no matter how far that is—self-care will keep you going.
- Validate your Emotions
Recovering from addiction or not, life is an emotional roller coaster. But for those who have struggled with addiction and substance misuse, emotional regulation and awareness maybe even more difficult. When you become aware of a feeling, without self-judgment, simply accept it. Even if it’s irrational, a feeling is real to the mind and body. Once you validate current emotions it becomes easier to dissect the reasoning behind them.
- Be Proud
Take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back! The struggles you have overcome, the difficulties you have faced… be proud of how far you have come. Even if it felt like you were going in circles for a while, the progress you have made despite it all – you deserve to be proud of yourself!
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction or substance misuse, contact The Haven today to speak to a professional.