Old neighborhoods and old haunts are just nice names for the environment that led you into drug abuse. Drug use happens everywhere, but when you have a personal tie into the culture, it becomes more difficult to stay sober.
In 2015 a study found that Fayetteville, NC ranked as the 15th highest rate of opioid abuse nationally. Although many people find local treatment options convenient, or the only affordable option, it often means returning to the very place where you began your drug abuse.
Transitioning back into normal life isn’t easy, and many recovering people often choose to uproot their lives completely. The goal of moving far away and cutting ties with many people in their lives is to eliminate access to illegal or prescription drugs. It’s not always effective, but many believe that it’s more effective than moving back home. For some, uprooting their lives is not an option.
Set Clear Expectations with Friends and Family
Any friends that you have kept in your life should support your sobriety. But without taking a turn towards how to choose friends, there is an aspect of friendship that you have complete control over expectations.
When moving back home, or into a part of town that you know has access to drugs, lay down some ground rules. These ground rules might include that you aren’t meeting particular friends anymore. Additionally, those rules could include that on certain nights of the week you stay home, or go out.
When you lay down the law, you take control over your sobriety regardless of the neighborhood. If you’re an adult moving in with a family member, you can match their rules with your own and set yourself up for long-term recovery.
Make Moving A Priority
If you’re constantly walking or driving past street-corner drug dealers, likely, you’ll eventually relapse. No amount of willpower can last you forever. See moving back into this neighborhood as a temporary stumbling block.
Evaluate your options for moving and set a clear goal. You don’t have to move cross country or even out of state. Most of the time simply moving away from the areas that drug dealers frequent can make staying sober possible.
Make Your Mental Health Important
When moving in with a relative or returning to your family setting, it is easy for people in recovery to feel that they owe something to the household. People pleasing and rushing to rebuild relationships can lead to undue stress, which can lead to relapse.
Instead of trying to please everyone in your house or make up for any past discretions, focus on yourself. Taking a moment to meditate in your room, eating healthy, and exercising are great ways to build your mental health regardless of your environment.
If you know the area has drugs readily available, stay out of the house. Take the dog to a park for a walk instead of going around the street.
Help Your Community
It’s likely that you aren’t the only one in your neighborhood struggling with sobriety. Helping others allows you to share in their success, and that experience will often lead to more positive experiences. Getting involved with your community can take a little effort.
While you may initially think of other recovering people within your community, you can help in other ways too. Visit seniors and help them around the house. Volunteer with a nearby animal shelter or get involved with a local church. Find a way to help that also fits with your interests. You don’t want to bounce from one volunteer activity to another, instead focus on finding a way to make a difference in your community.
Schedule Time to Talk
There are a few primary people you want to schedule time with: your therapist, your support group, and your family. If you’re living with family, carve out a time to have a meaningful conversation or interact with them exclusively. Be sure that they understand that questions and conversations must be fair to both you and them.
Schedule time with your therapist, or counselor and keep these appointments. Missing appointments with the people who are helping you through recovery is a major red flag for relapsing. Rehab Carolinas helps pair people with therapists in a way that considers scheduling and long-term care. Call today for more information about the treatment options offered.
Finally, find a support group. It may not be the same group regularly but find a weekly meeting that you can attend regularly. Make it a priority on your schedule and focus on when you’re planning that meeting. Schedule it for a time that you feel has the most likelihood of struggle or outright relapse into drug abuse.