Have you reached a milestone in your battle with addiction? Are you entering life from a new perspective? Now it’s time to begin life after addiction.
This article focuses on tips to help you rebuild your life. It will provide a guide to establishing a healthy and productive future.
Addiction rehab comes in many forms. You may have spent time in a residential program or a hospital. Most individuals transition from full-time programs to outpatient therapy.
Post-residential programs can include partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient therapy, or outpatient therapy. From there, aftercare programs provide ongoing support for long-term sobriety.
The truth is that life is messy. Many individuals struggle once they leave treatment.
Current addiction treatment relies on evidence-based research. These methods have shown positive results in helping people recover.
Similar to chronic diseases like heart disease or asthma, there’s no cure for addiction. Yet, with the tools provided in treatment, you can learn to manage this disease. You’ll gain skills to fight addiction’s effect on your brain and behavior.
Perspective on Life After Addiction
Everyone’s life is different and your experience in addiction recovery is unique. Does a relapse mean you’ve failed and can’t be sober? The answer is no.
As with other chronic diseases, people may experience a relapse. Did you know that the relapse rates among drug users are about the same as those with chronic illnesses?
A JAMA article discussed perceptions of treatment success for addiction vs chronic illnesses. Consider a person whose high blood pressure resolves with treatment. If their blood pressure rises when treatment stops, therapy is considered successful.
If someone who finishes an addiction recovery program relapses, it’s considered a treatment failure. In fact, relapse signals the need for further treatment to maintain disease control.
Treating chronic diseases including obesity, high blood pressure, and addiction involves changing habits. These behaviors have deep roots, making them challenging to overcome. A relapse means you need to talk with your healthcare provider and adjust the treatment plan.
After rehab, you must continue using the skills and coping strategies you’ve learned. For many people, it’s hard to do this on their own.
Aftercare programs provide ongoing support as you re-enter daily life. They may include individual counseling, family therapy, and group meetings. It’s important to place yourself in an atmosphere that will support your sobriety.
Don’t try doing everything on your own. There are many resources available to help. If you have health insurance problems, talk with the Medicaid office to see if you qualify.
Look for recovery groups in your area. Examples include Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and In The Rooms. SAMHSA is an online resource for substance abuse and mental health issues.
Sober Living Homes
Some individuals may not have a place to go. Or, their home may not provide a healthy environment to support recovery. A sober living home may provide the answer.
This is a facility where people recovering from addiction can live. These homes are often associated with a rehab or government organization. Yet, most of them have independent owners.
These homes help their residents maintain sobriety. Most homes allow residents to live there for up to a year. Some offer longer stays.
Sober living homes often have a leader who sets and enforces rules. This helps provide structure and boundaries. Other homes may use a more democratic approach with group decision-making.
Common requirements for staying in the home include sobriety and adherence to curfews. They may also have requirements for periodic drug testing.
Residents must assume responsibility and independence. Many people have jobs or go to school while living in the home. They may also buy and prepare their own meals, do laundry, and pay rent.
Practicing independence prepares the individual for reintegration into society. It’s important to find a setting that will be the most beneficial for you.
Relationships After Rehab
Addiction impacts everyone in a person’s life. The impact of addiction creates a family disease. It disrupts normal life and routines.
Erratic behavior leads to fear and mistrust. Many times, the addict lies about their use. They manipulate others to get what they need to support their habit.
Families may inadvertently promote addiction when trying to calm the situation. The addicted person often convinces family members that it was an isolated event.
Some families fight back and assume a tough stance. Family stress and turmoil increases. The addicted person may use this chaos to feed their addiction without notice.
These dynamics may remain after rehab. The following are steps to use when rebuilding relationships.
Establish Realistic Expectations
People fresh out of rehab may feel excited and focused on the future. They’re ready to return to relationships and make a new start. Yet, families may still lack trust and feel the anger of past experiences.
Understand that rebuilding relationships takes time. Celebrate small victories. Consider family therapy to help with the process.
Repeated lies and betrayals create lasting impressions. Loved ones dealt with manipulation, cheating, or whatever it took to feed the addiction.
Show your family every day that you’re focused on healthy living. Fulfill all commitments to demonstrate that you’re reliable.
Practice Healthy Communication Skills
Communication depends on the participation of both people. This includes active listening and honest sharing of thoughts and feelings. Family therapy can teach all members effective communication strategies.
Discuss what you learned during rehab with your family. Explain the tools you are working on to improve how you communicate and react to situations. Share new conflict resolution strategies.
Do Not Engage in Unhealthy Relationships
Understand that some relationships aren’t healthy. This may mean you need to leave and find healthier settings that support your recovery.
Avoid depending on someone else for your recovery needs. It’s vital that you become strong and independent. This makes you less susceptible to dangerous influences that may compromise your sobriety.
Are You in Need of Addiction or Mental Health Care?
Overcoming an addiction is a big achievement. It’s also not a quick fix.
At Sober Life Recovery Solutions, our team has the experience and expertise to help guide your journey. Many of our members have walked this same path to recovery.
You will be surrounded by supportive, encouraging experts that will help you learn skills for success. We are ready and waiting to help you live a healthy life. Contact us today to learn more about our programs.