Alcoholism and alcohol abuse are regrettably common, and a common cause of legal trouble such as DUI charges. In-patient treatment programs and counselling groups that focus on alcoholism are always helpful. These programs do exist in the Lexington area, but individuals have to seek them out and sign up.
The best first step to turning things around after getting in legal trouble is usually seeking DUI services in Lexington. Other important steps to take involve learning to deal with your triggers and making some necessary lifestyle changes that will support your physical and mental health.
Recognizing and Avoiding Triggers
Many events may trigger a relapse. A return to negative, self-destructive thinking is one indicator to look for. Seeking out drug or alcohol users to hang out with is another indicator. Many struggling individuals on the verge of a relapse engage in self-defeating behavior or catch themselves engaging in irrational thinking.
One important strategy for staying sober is in two parts. First, find out what triggers the urge to drink. Implementing this strategy may take a few lifestyle changes. Common triggers for relapse include shame and guilt over past bad behavior, financial problems, and unmanaged anger. Relationship struggles and people who use drugs or alcohol can also trigger a slide back into substance abuse.
Second, devise tactics for avoiding those triggers. Forming healthy new habits and seeking emotional support, or professional counseling can help. Lifestyle changes that support your sobriety are also a must.
Making Lifestyle Changes
Counselling from substance abuse experts is only one part of a sound strategy for recovery. You can make a number of changes to your lifestyle and habits to increase your odds of staying sober. These changes can be put into three categories:
- Practicing Healthy Living– Exercise, healthy eating, and good sleep hygiene all can help you manage stress and feel good. Learn how to buy and cook healthy foods. Explore a new hobby or revisit an old hobby that you don’t connect with drinking. Practice mindfulness or learn tai chi, to help keep your mind calm and focused.
- Forming Healthy Relationships– Unfortunately, you may have to sever some old relationships to avoid triggers for drinking and to escape from old habits. On a positive note, this is a good opportunity to form positive new relationships with extended family and members of the community, plus old friends of course.
- Managing Moods – Meditation helps here, but anger management maybe even more important. Anger can trigger the urge to drink, so learning healthy coping strategies to diffuse your anger can be crucial to staying sober and content.
Be alert to common pitfalls in recovery. Many individuals in recovery from substance abuse adopt a compulsive approach to exercise, diet, or a new hobby. Other recovering alcoholics allow themselves to be overcome by guilt or shame about their past bad behaviors. Shame and guilt are normal but can also be risk factors for relapsing. Learn from your mistakes and pledge to do better from now on. Make amends with people if you can.