Tips on How to Avoid the Slip

When you look back on your addiction, I’m sure you can spot precisely when the trend of slipping away from your positive social circle of sober friends or family and connecting up with a negative circle of influence, typically other drug users, began.

It’s the natural progression of addiction. So much of your time is spent getting or pursuing the high and your positive circle of influence is not. So, naturally you attract people who align with your new purists.

These actions do not make you a bad person but simply just a person trying to survive as an addict with other addicts.  As time goes on you start to convince yourself that this new crowd can be considered “friends.”

These drug buddies probably told you they will do anything for you, but now looking back, you know this statement is not 100% true.

Years may have gone by like this and you have connected up with a large network of other drug users.

The day then comes when you go off to drug rehab and get sober, making drastic changes, while getting healthy, physically and mentally.

In the beginning of your drug rehab treatment, you still had some contact with other drug users you hung around with, but as time progresses and the cleaner you get, you lose contact with them.

This now brings you to a point after you have completed your stint in drug rehab and begun your new life. Be warned, you might bump into these old drug buddies again.

Here are some tips on avoiding the slip

  1. Expect it. Expect to run into those old drug buddies, especially if you are starting your new life in your home town.  Expecting to run into people you used to drug with will eliminate the anxiety of the unexpected.  Some people get caught completely off–guard, when they run into an old acquaintance, and are unable to recover from it, as there could be a great deal of re-stimulation.  You need to accept that this will happen; you will bump into people you used drugs with, or knew were drug users.  Expecting it to happen will help you prepare for it, so as you can remind yourself of what it took to get sober, and you can use the tools you have gained from drug rehab to help you stay clean.
  2. Work your tools. Rely on your knowledge gained from treatment; you will find that most treatment centers will spend time teaching you how to handle everyday situations, giving you different coping skills, and tools to fall back on.  If you find you are stuck in a position where you have bumped into an old drug buddy, just simply tell them right off the ball that you are sober and don’t use anymore.  Most addicts will congratulate you on that, and say good for you, and will throw out stories how they aren’t ready to get sober yet and all this, and unless the person is a complete ass-hole, that is where the conversation will normally end.  If it doesn’t end there, fall back on your tools, walk away from the situation, offer the person a number they can call to get help, state you can not have any more contact with them unless they too are sober.  If you are feeling uneasy after meeting them, contact your sponsor after the encounter, if you need to talk to someone, or contact the treatment center you attended, communication is important if you need to let something out, and discuss what happened.
  3. Shift gears. If you really got rattled by your encounter with an old drug buddy, shift your attention onto the things you love.  This will really give you a reminder of why you got sober to being with.  Go spend more time with your family and your REAL friends, take a trip, spend more time with your significant other, go do some physical activity, anything that will make you happy and enjoy the day, and your life.  More importantly, talk to someone about how your feeling, never let these things bottle up.  This is the new you, and as the new you it is all about continual improvement, so as to move forward and succeed.  Some good quick and easy reading to pick up is, How to Build Self-Discipline:  Resist Temptation and Reach your Long Term Goals, by Martin Meadows.  The book is an easy read and does provide some good tips on self improvement, and how to stay away from things that will set you back; odds are you will take something positive out of the book that you can implement in your life.

Life change require self-discipline, especially decisions in life to become sober. There was a point where you made a decision to change your life, as you knew the path you were going down would only lead to total self destruction.

Running into old drugs buddies and avoiding sliding backwards will be a common occurrence in the beginning of your sobriety, but as soon as you overcome once, your confidence goes through the roof.

You are going to be faced with many challenges in everyday life while being sober; it is how we handle these challenges and grow from them that will define who you are.

Strength is built through momentum. Every good decision you make, including fending off old drug buddies, builds momentum until your strength can’t be pushed off the tracks.

Author: Nick Bruce Hayes

Running into old drug buddies ©