If you are trying to maintain abstinence from alcohol or drugs over a long period of time, it is important to develop a drug-free lifestyle in all aspects of your life — at home, at work and during your leisure hours.

Supportive Friends and Family

One of the first steps in developing a drug-free lifestyle is to avoid those people who were directly involved in your former drinking or drug-using lifestyle — those who helped you get drugs, use drugs or were your drinking buddies.

Your rehab counsellor will try to help you identify drug-free supportive friends and family members and encourage you to improve those relationships and participate in recreational activities with them, to replace the time that you spent drug-seeking and using. If you do not have drug-free friends or loved ones, your counsellor will encourage you to become involved in new social groups and make new, supportive friends.

Developing a Structured Schedule

Another important aspect of developing a drug-free lifestyle is to develop a structured daily schedule that you can consistently follow.

Structure and organization in your life can be your best friends in recovery, while a chaotic and disorganized lifestyle can be your enemy.

Developing Larger, Expanded Goals

While maintaining your sobriety remains a high priority in your life, in order to develop a long-term drug-free lifestyle, it is helpful to identify larger goals for your future. Now that you have achieved more than 90 days of abstinence, you will probably begin to develop larger, long-term goals such as going back to school, changing career paths or saving toward financial goals.

Identifying other goals for your life and developing a plan to achieve those goals can play an important role in helping you develop and maintain a drug-free lifestyle. Your follow-up counsellor will help you learn how to work toward these goals within the context of your new recovering lifestyle.

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