There’s no shortage of therapy modalities or advice about addiction recovery. And as always, what works for one person, might not work for another.
We agree with the research that says the most successful addiction treatment occurs when individual therapy is combined with group therapy. While much can be accomplished in one on one treatment, sharing advice in a group setting helps each individual in the group.
One of the exercises we like to use in group therapy allows everyone to share their best tips, sayings, and advice about recovery. We write them all on boards for everyone to see and then print them out.
We call it, “The Ultimate Advice on Addiction and Recovery” because it comes directly from patients who are actively in rehab, and they know what works best for them. Everyone in the group is free to chime in, and every group has its own ideas of what works. While the words may be different from session to session, there are quite a few ideas that overlap every month.
Here are 34 pieces of advice about recovery from patients in one of our group sessions:
1. Have a plan after discharge
2. Stay super busy: Avoid boredom
3. Seek situations where you are accountable
4. Out with the old, in with the new
5. Don’t fall into the trap of self-sabotage
6. Guard your sobriety with everything you have
7. Embrace honesty
8. Avoid high-risk situations
9. Don’t let negativity eat your lunch
10. Know when to say “no” without guilt
11. Have a non-drinking buddy
12. Explore all the ways of having sober fun
13. Recognize and avoid slippery people
14. Have an attitude of gratitude
15. Share new skills with others
16. Spirituality has no rules
17. Avoid drug dealers – on the street – or in their office
18. Dr FeelGood can keep you stuck
19. Social use leads to abuse
20. Call before you fall
21. Drug coated pain is worse than real pain
22. Recognize but don’t follow your addictive voice
23. Stop blowing it, start showing it!
24. I ain’t fixed, but I got tools and tricks
25. Don’t get fooled by the pink cloud
26. The before picture is your best motivation
27. Reward yourself – Forgive to live
28. A change of heart is a new start
29. Avoid toxic people and relate to nourishing people
30. Even if you feel abandoned, people really do care
31. Use the stop sign and breathe
32. Baby steps are better than constantly challenging yourself
33. Red flags lead to a mindful heed
34. With yourself, be patient, but not complacent
Having a list is a great way to stay on track during and after treatment. Making a personal list and adding to it could easily reach into hundreds of ideas. If something on the list works really well, transfer it to a “best of” list and create a new list to use or share with others.
By sharing scientific research along with personal advice from those in recovery, hopefully, the body of knowledge will only get better over time and we’ll truly find the ultimate pieces of advice for successful treatment.