Recovery from addiction is rarely a straight path. At times, staying on track for long term recovery can seem impossible – but by understanding some of the barriers to recovery, and by putting a strong aftercare plan into place, you can ensure that your hard work in recovering from addition isn’t wasted.

Completing an addiction treatment programme can provide you with the tools to combat your addiction, but what about when your programme comes to an end? Experts generally agree that it isn’t possible to fully cure addiction, but instead it can be treated and managed if given the right resources and guidance to do so.

So, what do you need to do to help maintain long term recovery from addiction?


Understand the factors that led to your addiction

There are a vast number of reasons as to why a person may suffer from addiction – stressful situations, difficult life events, self-medication, the list goes on.

Gaining a better understanding of why your addiction began in the first place can be an instrumental factor in recognising these situations and help you to be better prepare should you have to face them again.

Seeking ongoing therapy or counselling from trained professionals and undertaking regular treatment such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) or Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) will give you an opportunity to highlight and work through any triggers which may result in a relapse.


Take part in support groups

Evidence has shown that attending designated support groups has a significant impact on long term addiction recovery. There are a wide range of support groups, covering more general addiction areas such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), or there are those which target more specific addition types.

Surrounding yourself by people in similar situations to your own can help you to feel less alone, and many attendees are willing to share coping mechanisms that have supported them in their long-term recovery.

Implement small changes to your everyday life

Making small adjustments in your everyday life to help you develop a more structured schedule and a healthier lifestyle can help you to set short, and long terms goals, giving you a focal point and something to work towards. These could be:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Eating well
  • Developing a quality sleep schedule
  • Practise relaxation strategies such as meditation or yoga
  • Practise a new hobby, volunteer or find a job that you enjoy and that helps you focus.


Celebrate milestones and don’t be afraid to ask for help

By setting yourself small, regular goals, you can celebrate your achievements in your long-term recovery. However, it is important that throughout your achievements you acknowledge periods of difficulty and are not afraid to reach out for help if you feel yourself struggling.

Self-sabotage is one of the most common reasons why recovering addicts relapse, so being open and honest with both yourself, and the people around you about your current feelings is an important step towards long-term recovery.


At ANA Treatment Centres, we offer detoxification programmes and addiction treatment programmes that aim to support long term recovery. Our aim is to help our clients rebuild their lives, gain confidence and self-worth, and believe they can live a healthy, responsible and productive life, free from addictive substances.

If you are affected by addiction, or you have concerns about a friend or family member, please don’t hesitate to contact us.