For most people, the weekend signifies a time of relaxation, fun times and worry free activities. For addicts, weekends can actually bring a sense of stress and uncertainty. Generally speaking, most individuals work during the weekdays and have the most going on during that time. For addicts, staying busy can be a key thing when trying to remain sober. Boredom and idle time gives cravings and negative thinking a chance to sink in. This is something that newly sober recovering addicts especially need to avoid. For a recovering addict, the weekend is not a time to lay on the beach drinking or go to night clubs and partake in the festivities. Even something as simple as going to dinner can be testing because of the allure of having ‘just a social drink’.
For those that need to be a little stricter on weekend down times there are a few things that can be done to help prepare a weekend relapse prevention plan. The first thing that is recommended is to ease into the weekend, instead of jam packing any intense therapy sessions or meetings. Doing these things earlier in the week can set a trend for success and productivity, where scheduled closer to the weekend these sessions can add sharply contrasting modes of stress and rigor against relaxation and fun. Closely related to this, it can be important to recognize stress levels. Over the weekend when things might seem more like ‘alone time’ it is good to keep employed the meditation, reading, praying and intro section that was taught in the rehabilitation program. These are good ways to remain in control of sobriety and any negative thoughts brought on by stress.
Next, being clear on warning signs for triggers throughout the weekend is a staple to avoiding a relapse. As soon as you feel like relapsing, or find yourself drifting to thoughts involving substance abuse it can be very beneficial to get in touch with a sponsor, friend or family member who can provide support. Staying on top of your own emotions is a key element in remaining in control for your sobriety.
As the weekend begins, or even before hand, it can be important to make a list of places and people not to visit or see. This list can vary with the individual. For example, an alcoholic could make a list of drinking buddies and places in which drinking is the main activity. These people and places are most likely to cause a trigger or craving to occur which would only put that individual at a higher risk for relapse than they normally would be exposed to. Avoiding these things should not be looked as anti-social, mean or selfish. They are simply what is best for that individual and actually are a sign of growing and self appreciation that is vital for every person.
Aside from these preventative measures, it can be good to have a few thing scheduled to keep the weekend moving at a good pace. Exercise, healthy hobbies and good influence friends are great for having a fun weekend that does not involve dangerous options. The idea that drinking or doing drugs is necessary for a fun time is a stigma that involves only a certain kind of crowd. Most addicts hail from a crowd that condones those behaviors. However, finding out that the weekend can be just as enjoyable with out those things often comes as a pleasant surprise for recovered addicts who chose to have a happy and healthy time.
Many of our licensed counselors, who have also gone through the treatment process, are still in recovery and are willing to share their first-hand experience in order to allow others to follow in their footsteps. In addition, they are able to offer valuable insight into what to expect as well as the do’s and the don’ts of addiction recovery. We treat clients from all over the world, caring for them with the dignity and respect they deserve. Our prescription drug addiction treatment program provides each individual with an opportunity to lead a new and better life by changing their emotional, physical and mental attitudes.
Florida Center for Recovery – Addiction Treatment Center: 1-800-960-5041
Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Recovery